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For decades, BD (Becton Dickinson), the world’s largest medical needle manufacturer, has made work safer for the globe’s health care workers. Its quest began in the ’80s—at the height of the AIDS epidemic—when industry data revealed how often those workers were injured and infected in needlestick accidents. BD quickly developed safety-e­ngineered syringes and “needleless” IV access systems, funded a free-of-charge injury surveillance network (now used around the world), and created a training program with a large nursing organization. Thanks to the concerted lobbying efforts of BD and others, there is now federal legislation (passed in 2000) mandating the use of safe devices in the U.S. Sharps injuries have dropped substantially, and BD’s safety-engineered products now generate more than $2 billion in annual sales.

Company Info

Health Care
Medical Equipment
Revenues ($ millions)8,446
Company type
Vincent A. Forlenza
Impact Segment
Public Health/Nutrition

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