After more than a decade of costly trial and error design work, a retired research chemist is on the verge of breaking into a multi-billion pound market, confident of becoming one of the world’s leading suppliers of needlestick prevention devices.
Russell Maudsley and the company he founded in the Isle of Man, Safe-T, have spent “a few million pounds” on patenting various designs and worldwide patent coverage on a safer blood collection device. The company is now in talks to launch the device across the globe.
“With the right commercial push we could be looking at annual sales in the tens of millions within the next few years,” says Mr Maudsley.
“While we have to compete with the large companies we have the best technology, patented worldwide, which ensures complete and automatic needle retraction from the vein, thus protecting people from needle stick injury at source.”
Such is the extent of needlestick injury that the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society produces a fortnightly bulletin.
Mr Maudsley says: “The devastating personal and professional effects of injury from contaminated needle stick can be seen in their full horror by doing a search on YouTube for ‘needlestick injury’.
“Diseases commonly contracted from needlestick are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The results of testing can take up to 10 months - the uncertainty, of course, means great personal stress for the individual.”
Laws requiring hospital groups to obtain safer devices to curb this epidemic of unnecessary injury have been introduced in the United States and in the European Union. China, India and Japan are expected to follow suit very soon.
Needlestick injury, which is according to most nurses is under reported - because of the paperwork involved - requires prolonged testing for acquired diseases at costs of over $3,000 per injury.
“And that is just for testing, not for any treatment or legal injury claim,” notes Mr Maudsley.
“The lowest estimate in the US for the incidences of needlestick injury is 300,000 per annum. Thus the cost of just testing alone, is $1 billion. The injury rate in Europe is broadly similar to the US.”
Another patented Safe-T device, which allows self-injection of medications more safely, is already in use, licensed to Johnson & Johnson, the US multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer.
Safe-T is also seeking to market its latest patented invention, a novel means of preventing the contamination of multi-dose drug vials during use. Deaths have occurred as the result of patients being inadvertently injected with the contents of a contaminated vial.
Another invention of Mr Maudsley’s is a dental aid for personal use, which can be carried in a pocket or handbag. Denti-Pik is to be marketed worldwide in 2014. The product will be sold to dentists and pharmacies and can also used as a marketing aid by hotels, airlines, cruise lines and tourist boards. Mr Maudsley puts the sales target at hundreds of millions per annum.
He says that most Safe-T products could eventually be manufactured in the Isle of Man.
A video of Safe-T devices has recently been taken for use as part of its marketing strategy.
Mr Maudsley relocated the Isle of Man from Cheshire in 1990 after selling the company he had founded. Chemical Services and Distribution, which received the Queen’s Award for Exports in 1986, manufactured and distributed own-brand and third-party chemicals in the fields of agrochemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates. It exported to around 40 countries.
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