Help Remedies & the DKMS Bone Marrow Registry

Help Remedies & the DKMS Bone Marrow Registry

May 31, 2012  |  Products

Your next papercut could be the first step in saving the life of a leukemia patient. Help Remedies, a small(er), over-the-counter drug company, has partnered with the DKMS bone marrow registry to package a bone marrow testing strip with their “help: I’ve cut myself” adhesive bandages. Since you are already bleeding (hopefully not profusely) when using their products, the partnership hopes that you’ll dab some of that lovely stuff onto a testing strip to be mailed to DKMS.


According to GOOD1, Graham Douglas, from ad agency Droga5, was looking for a drug company brave enough to attempt integrating a bone marrow testing kit in their product. Douglas’ identical twin brother beat leukemia after finding a donor match for a bone marrow transplant. Douglas wanted to find hope for others with leukemia and found Richard Fine, founder of Help Remedies. According to Douglas: “I wanted to make it as fucking simple as possible to do something good,” he says. “I think a lot of people hear bone marrow donation and they think it’s going to be torture and that’s just not the case.”

I wanted to make it as fucking simple as possible to do something good. I think a lot of people hear bone marrow donation and they think it’s going to be torture and that’s just not the case.

Douglas found the perfect partner with Fine and Help. Help Remedies markets itself as a new type of over-the-counter drug company. They promote a “less is more” philosophy with their products stating that “people get enough drugs, dyes, and nonsense from other kind of drug companies.”2 Besides using less dyes and less wasteful packaging, Help also donates 5% of their profits to organizations that help U.S. children gain access to healthcare. That’s refreshing.

Help Remedies’ “help: I’ve cut myself” bandage kit contains 16 adhesive bandages in two sizes as well as a bone marrow testing kit.

This is the kind of product-cause partnership we love to see here at CraveGood. The product uses market forces to assist the cause in breaking down barriers — in this case, the need to reach a bigger pool of donors. At the same time, the partnership is a symbiotic one for the company. Fine has says that “the mild increase in cost, especially in larger volumes, will be more than made up for in increased retail business and consumer interest.”3 He also notes that the company continues to make a profit, but at the same time, hopes to save 10,000 lives with the product. Good stuff.

Also, quirky marketing videos!


Although there are millions of people in the bone marrow donor registry, 6 out of 10 patients never receive the transplant they need to save their lives.4

Here’s some stone-cold science — Human leukocyle antigen (HLA) is a DNA based tissue test which is used to match patient and donors for bone marrow transplants. The immune system uses these HLA markers to recognize the cells which belong in your body, and those which do not. The whole purpose of having a bone donor registry is to match those patients and donors with similar HLA markers so that the patient’s immune cells will not reject the donor’s cell and so that the donor’s immune cells will not attack the patient’s cells.

Do to the diversity of patients with leukemia, donors of all ethnicities and ancestries are needed by the registry. It’s quite possible that you are the only person in the registry who can save a patient’s life.

DKMS Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei gGmbH (German Bone Marrow Donor Center in English) was founded in Germany in 1991. It’s founder, Katharina Harf lost her mother to leukemia at the age of fourteen after a long search for potential donors. During her mother’s illness, Katharina’s father Peter Harf recruited 68,000 donors in a desperate year of searching. Katharina has continued to fight for leukemia patients everywhere.

In 2004, DKMS expanded into the U.S. DKMS donors have provided more than 31,000 transplants and has over 3.6 million registered bone marrow donors.5 They could always use one more.



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  1. Your article inspired me to sign up with the Be the Match Registry! Thanks for putting this information out there!

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