The World Needs Syringes. He jumped to make 5,900 per minute.

BALLABGARH, India – In late November, an instant email arrived in the inbox of Hindustan Syringe & Medical Devices, one of the world’s largest syringe manufacturers.

It was from UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, and was demanding strict syringes. Just nobody will do it. These syringes should be smaller than normal. If they are used a second time, they have to be prevented from spreading the disease through accidental recycling.

Most important, UNICEF needed them in large quantities. Now.

“I felt, ‘Never mind,'” said Rajiv Nath, the company’s managing director, who has spent millions of dollars preparing his syringe factories for vaccination. “We can deliver it faster than anyone else.”

As countries have said that enough vaccine doses are safe to eradicate the Kovid-19 outbreak, a second scuffle is coming out for the syringes. Not all vaccines are useful if health care professionals have no way to inject them into people.

“A lot of countries were flat-footed,” said Ingrid Katz, Associate Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “It seems like a fundamental irony that countries around the world are not fully prepared to receive this type of syringe.”

Experts say that the world needs eight to 10 billion syringes for the Kovid-19 vaccination. In previous years, only 5 percent to 10 percent of the estimated 16 billion syringes used worldwide were for vaccination and vaccination, a senior partner at the Center for Global Development, a think tank in Pacific, Washington, and one for Health The expert said. Care Supply Chain.

Wealthy nations such as the United States, Britain, France and Germany pumped billions of dollars of taxpayer money into developing the vaccine, but there has been little public investment to expand manufacturing for syringes, Mr. Yadav said.

He said, “I don’t worry about the ability to manufacture syringes, but the capacity for special types of syringes.”

Not all syringes in the world are compatible with the work.

To maximize output from a vial of Pfizer vaccine, for example, a syringe must take an exact dose of 0.3 mg. Syringes should also have less dead space – infinite distance between the plunger and needle after the dose is fully injected – to reduce waste.

The industry walked the ramp to meet demand. Becton Dickinson, who is based in New Jersey and is a major syringe manufacturer, said Will spend 1.2 billion dollars Expand capacity over four years to deal with the epidemic.

According to Fitch Solutions, a research firm, the United States is the world’s largest syringe supplier by sales. The United States and China are neck and neck in exports, with a total annual shipment of $ 1.7 billion. While India is a small player globally, with only $ 32 million in exports in 2019, Mr. Nath of Hindustan Syringe sees a huge opportunity.

Each of his syringes sells for only three cents, but his total investment is considerable. He invested about $ 15 million for the mass-produced syringes, which was equivalent to about one-sixth of his annual sales, before purchase orders were also in sight. In May, he ordered new molds from suppliers in Italy, Germany and Japan and made a variety of barrels and plungers for his syringes.

Mr. Nath added 500 workers to his production lines, which crank out more than 5,900 syringes per minute in factories spread over 11 acres in a dusty industrial district outside New Delhi. With Sundays and public holidays, the company churns out around 2.5 billion per year, although it is planned to be up to three billion by July.

Hindustan syringes have a long history of supplying UNICEF immunization programs in the poorest countries, where syringe reuse is common and one of the main sources of fatal infections, including HIV and hepatitis.

In late December, when the World Health Organization Pfizer vaccine cleaned for emergency use, Robert Matthews, a UNICEF contract manager in Copenhagen, and his team needed to find a manufacturer who could produce millions of syringes.

“We went, ‘Oh, dear!” Mr. Matthews said, because they were looking for a syringe that would meet WHO specifications and was compact for shipping. The product of Hindustan syringe, he said, was the first.

The company is set to start shipping 3.2 million of those syringes soon, UNICEF said, provided they undergo another quality check.

Mr. Nath has sold 15 million syringes to the Government of Japan, he said, and more than 400 million to India for his Kovid-19 inoculation drive, One of the largest in the world. He said that including UNICEF, are in the line, for which he has offered production of about 240 million more, and Brazil said.

Inside the company’s plant number 6, machines coated in yellow paint come out of plastic barrels and plungers. Other machines in Bergamo, Italy, collect each component, which is monitored by needles, sensors, and cameras. Workers in blue protective suits inspect trays filled with syringes, before unloading them in a crate that they take to the packaging area next door.

To increase efficiency, a syringe design by Mr. Nath relies on Mark KoskaA British inventive safety injection, and its ability to produce all components in-house. Hindustan Syringe makes its needles from stainless steel strips imported from Japan. The strips are curled into the cylinder and welded to the seam, then stretched and cut into fine capillary tubes, which glue the plastic hub. To make the jabs less painful, they are immersed in a silicone solution.

The syringe business is a “blood donor”, Mr. Nath said, where the upfront costs are astronomical and beneficial marginal. If the demand for his syringes drops by more than half in the next few years, he will lose about $ 15 million invested.

This is clearly a frugal operation. The blue carpet in Mr. Nath’s office seems to be much older than his desk or glass chandelier, as his father put it in 1984 before handing it over to Mr. Nath and his family.

A family business is just as he likes it. No shareholders, no interference, no worries. In 1995, when Mr. Nath needed money to increase production and buy many new machines, he first demanded private capital. If this were to happen today, he said, he would not be able to follow his stomach and produce his syringes on this large scale.

Mr. Nath said, “You sleep well at night.” “It is better to have a big fish in a small pond.”

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