Rexam readies safety device for injectables market

By Susan Gotensparre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Hypodermic needle Injection

France-based Rexam Pharma is gearing up to launch a safety add-on
device that fits on to prefilled syringes to help drugmakers comply
with recent legislations designed to prevent needlestick injuries.

The pharmaceutical subsidiary of UK packaging giant said that the driving force behind its product development is the implementation of the US Needle stick Safety and Prevention Act in 2000, and adds that the Safe'n sound technology is due to hit the market in the near future. European legislators are expected to follow suit with their own version of the requirements, according to the company.

A surge in biopharmaceutical R&D in recent years, has led to an increase in the number of injectable drugs reaching the market, and the market for needle-free injection devices and safety syringes is following suit, expected to exceed $2.49bn (€2.1bn) by 2009 according to Kalorama's 2006 market report. The safety problems associated with sharps, along with consumer demand, are pushing for alternatives to traditional needles and syringes.

Although, Rexam's main priority is to prevent accidental needle injuries it is also considering adding a feature aimed at anti-counterfeiting to the device, to prevent tampering and ensure integrity throughout the supply chain. The technology is there and they could easily adapt the system to implement this additional feature, if there is customer demand.

The company explains that the device has three components, a sleeve, body and spring, which snap onto a standard prefilled syringe. After an injection, the needle retracts automatically into the plastic cover without user intervention. The device fits 1 ml short and long syringes and can fit a 0.5 ml syringe with modifications.

"We have a system that is reliable, since accidental activation is not possible and the position of the spring allows a better vision of the syringe,"​ Patrice Lewko, Rexam Pharma's marketing manager, told

President Bill Clinton signed the needlestick legislation to protect the US's eight million health care workers from contaminated sharps injuries. It was implemented in response to needlestick cases in the US alone averaging 600,000 to one million a year. Estimates indicate that as many as 80 per cent of the incidents could be prevented with the use of needle-free devices and safety syringes, according to Kalorama's research report.

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