Simple Cures

Clear instructions and honest materials take the pain out of first-aid products.

No one relishes a trip down the first-aid aisle of a drugstore. For starters, it’s usually the result of some stroke of bad luck—a cut, a predisposition to hay fever, or the unfortunate purchase of overpriced and devilishly uncomfortable shoes. To add insult to injury, one is then forced to navigate a dizzying array of boxes under the harsh glare of fluorescent strip lighting—a guessing game that produces more anxiety than it alleviates. “You can’t tell what’s what, and there are a thousand different packages, all with basically the same ingredients inside,” says Richard Fine, a product developer who, along with his partner, Nathan Frank, an advertising creative, has simplified the process.

Their new line of Help Remedies offers straightforward cures for common ills, including cuts, blisters, allergies, and headaches. Packaged in a color-coded, eco-friendly case (made from a combination of pressed paper pulp and bioplastic), each one delivers just what you need for $4, without the fillers, dyes, and sugary coatings found in most over-the-counter medications. Smart epigrams replace fine print and describe how the products differ from the standard variety. “We try to make the information more interesting, readable, and likable,” Fine says. Here he and Frank introduce their own brand of health-care reform.

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