Correcting a chronic problem that plagues drop instillation

To mark World Sight Day, Nanodropper Inc. has developed a pay-it-forward Nanodropper Adaptor program, allowing anyone to donate devices to a pool for distribution to patients in need.

Using the Nanodropper is easy, and it helps eliminate waste. (Images courtesy of Nanodropper Inc.)

The Nanodropper (Nanodropper Inc.), a device that is an eye drop adaptor, meets a longstanding need in eyedrop instillation in that it prevents valuable eyedrop treatments from losing their therapeutic impact by running down the faces of patient, which in turn saves a considerable sum of money over time for each patient.

The adaptor, according to Mackenzie Andrews, chief commercial officer of the company, fits about 90% of all eyedrop bottles that are currently available in the US, including prescription, over-the-counter, and in-clinic drops. A new design that is scheduled to appear in 2022 will fit about 99% of all bottles on the market, she explained.

The journey to the Nanodropper, which launched in June 2020, took about 4 years. The device currently is commercially available to doctors and patients on the company website ( and in about 300 partner clinic locations across the US.

The inspiration for the venture arose from an article published by ProPublica1 that reported that pharmaceutical companies manufacturer drops that are too big, actually larger than the eye can hold.

This information was the inspiration for Allisa Song, then a scientist at the University of Washington and now chief executive officer of the company.

The Nanodropper in action.

Song and other cofounders researched the ideal dose that would work in the eye. The result was the Nanodropper, which tripled the life of each drug bottle and extended the drug supply from 1 to 3 months. Song, who is now an MD candidate at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, pointed out that on average a patient can save about $2,500 annually using 1 Nanodropper.

The Minnesota Cup Award

For the first time in the history of this award, the grand prize was awarded to a start-up company started by students.

The device won $25,000 for snaring the top slot in the Student Division as well as the $50,000 grand prize as the overall winner of the contest.

Andrews hopes that this success will help spur interest in the next generation of other student enterprises.

“These student teams can create real businesses and products that can make a great difference and be able to compete next to other professionals who are more advanced in their careers,” she commented.

The Global Community

Nanodropper Inc. is embarking on a couple of donation programs.

In line with World Sight Day, Nanodropper Inc. developed a Pay-It-Forward Nanodropper Adaptor program by which anyone can donate devices to a pool for distribution to patients in need. The company will provide a Nanodropper free of charge to anyone who requests one and may not be able to afford the $14.99 cost. This is available to any US patient just by filling out a form.

From left, Mackenzie Andrews, Jennifer Steger, PhD, Allisa Song, and Elias Baker.

Their Global Vision Program in partnership with Unite for Sight allows anyone to donate a Nanodropper at a lower cost ($9). The eye drop adaptors will be sent to Ghana to improve access to eye care in a low-income setting. To donate, visit

“It is very exciting for us to have a global impact,” Andrews stated.


Allen M. Drug companies make eyedrops too big, and you pay for the waste. ProPublica. 2017; published October 2017.

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