US company Globe Medical Tech has started production of a new type of safety syringe developed by Maxxon that should cost no more than a regular, non-safe disposable syringe.
Globe intends to produce around 1,500 of the 3ml capacity syringes that will be used for testing, mould design verification and to file for regulatoryapprovals in the US and selected Latin American countries.
A manufacturing agreement between the two companies, originally signed last November, has been amended to reduce Maxxon's initial capital expenditure to less than $100,000 (€84,000), which Maxxon has paid. Globe estimates that the first safety syringes from the initial production run could be delivered as early as July 2004.
The syringes use a proprietary patented technology in which a vacuum causes the needle to retract into the barrel of the syringe after an injection is administered or blood is drawn.
The safety needles and syringes market represents a large and growing segment of the healthcare industry. In 1999, total sales of needles and syringes in the US reached $759 million, and could be $1.05 billion by 2006.
According to Frost & Sullivan, safety needles and syringes will eventually represent a majority of the needles and syringes market by 2005. The market share for safety needles and syringes is expected to grow from 23 per cent in 1999 to 66 per cent in 2006.
Globe plans to assist Maxxon in preparing and filing for approval in selected Latin American countries. The US firm has a non-exclusive license to market Maxxon's 3ml safety syringe to hospitals in Latin and South America.
According to US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, the number of needlestick and other percutaneous injuries among health care workers is growing every year with about half of these injuries unreported. At an average hospital, workers incur approximately 30 needlestick injuries per 100 beds per year. In one study, needlestick injuries were reduced anywhere from 23 per cent to 76 per cent by using safer needles.