Chicago-area drug company uses half its profits to fight epilepsy ​

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- A Chicago-area company is giving back in a big way.

OWP Pharmaceuticals is a for-profit company that specializes in epilepsy treatment, but more than half its profits go toward helping the under-served epilepsy population around the world. The neurological disorder causes seizures, and in developing countries, treatment can be scarce.

The company's CEO Scott Boyer says the "treatment gap" is an injustice that sparked his desire to start OWP Pharmaceuticals. The goal is to  make education, diagnosis and treatment available to those who need it, no matter where they live across the globe. The company launched in 2014 and has been operating in West Chicago, but it's expanding. They just opened a second office in Naperville.

Here's how the business model works: OWP Pharmaceuticals is the financial engine driving the enterprise, while the ROW Foundation handles the humanitarian work. ROW brings a first-world standard of treatment to patients in the rest of the world, providing medication and also training local doctors. The two entities were formed at the same time with the intention of remaining linked.

The company's leaders say business can and should be part of the solution to the world's social problems.