June 28, 1999 12:00 PM

Hadley Kramm, 7, cannot walk and speaks only a few words. But when it comes to discerning tastes, her palate is foolproof. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy in infancy, she was put on the antiseizure drug Klonopin. But she could always detect the medicine’s foul flavor, even when it was mixed with ice cream. Soon, Hadley refused to take her medication, resumed having seizures and, says her father, Kenny, 38, “she wouldn’t eat because she didn’t know what the pills would be in. It was frightening.”

Luckily, Kramm—a pharmacist technician—approached the situation as a challenge. He and his father, a pharmacist, began fiddling with flavorings and eventually hit on a tutti-frutti combo that, when mixed with Klonopin, blunted its bite. In October 1995, Kramm began selling FLAVORx, as he calls his line of potions. An accompanying recipe book tells druggists which ones to add to which medications to achieve any one of 42 flavors (bubble gum and grape are the top sellers). Today, 1,000 pharmacies and 25 hospitals in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere offer the concoctions, which add about $3 to the cost of each prescription. “It’s made a great difference,” says D.C. pediatrician Dr. Frank Stroud, “for the children and their parents.”

A native of Potomac, Md., Kramm learned salesmanship as a University of Maryland marketing major. He and his wife, Shelley, 37, an interior designer, are thrilled with the success of FLAVORx and the impact their sunny younger daughter (Hadley’s sister Sarah is 10) is having on the world. Says Shelley: “It’s nice to know that out of Hadley’s complicated little life, so many other children’s lives will be improved.”

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