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Lawsuits over health and safety don't have to have merit to destroy a company, they only need a good story. This story has all the elements of a disaster for BD. Just ask Dow Corning how much more important the story is than the facts. Oh, thats right, they don't exist anymore even though none of the facts were against them and they had a diversified product line. We don't know if BD has facts on its side but it may not matter in any case.
The union representing nurses ... now suing BDX is just the start. This looks very similar to the Tobacco industry story that 60 minutes did.
The jig is up for BDX... much more negative news is coming. BDX has a huge problem that will not go away soon and will be very expensive!
Letter to all BD Associates:
This weekend, on Sunday evening, the CBS show 60 Minutes will broadcast a segment on accidental needlesticks and safety-engineered devices. Based on information placed on CBS� web site, we now know that this story will unfairly and outrageously attack the integrity and business practices of our company and the effectiveness of our products. I want to tell you clearly that there is no basis whatsoever for this attack.
Over the 103 year history of our company, BD has always prided itself on "doing what is right" regardless of business expediency. This situation is no different. Let me set the record straight on the accusations being made by 60 Minutes:
1. For over a decade, BD has done far more than any other company in the world to protect healthcare workers from needlestick injuries. This included inventing and developing the largest array of safety-engineered needle devices, over 200 catalog items in total, far more than any other manufacturer. We have invested more than $500 million, and hundreds of thousands of hours of effort by our people, to achieve this.
2. BD manufactures the highest quality medical devices, including our safety-engineered designs. The effectiveness of our products is proven millions of times every day in healthcare facilities throughout the United States and the world. Our safety devices have consistently outperformed competitive products in head-to-head customer evaluations. This is why we are the leading supplier of safety-engineered needle devices.
3. Beyond the breadth and quality of our products, BD has done far more than any other company to advance the cause of healthcare worker safety. We provided substantial funding to the University of Virginia to develop EPINet, the only nationally and internationally recognized surveillance system that enables hospitals to precisely identify the causes of needlestick injuries. We distribute this system free of charge to hospitals. We actively support hospitals� efforts to train and educate their employees, also free of charge.
4. We actively supported government legislation that requires healthcare facilities to use safety-engineered needle devices, whenever it is feasible for them to do so without compromising patient care.
5. All of BD�s dealings with its customers, including Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs), are legal and ethical. Our contracts are voluntary in nature at the hospital level. Hospitals can purchase products from whomever they choose.
Regarding any additional allegations that may be made against BD in this story, it is important that you know the following:
� So far, the "class action" cases against BD referenced in the story are simply pleadings by lawyers filed on behalf of 21 healthcare workers (represented in 11 cases), none of whom have contracted a disease from their needlestick. Two of the 11 cases have been dismissed, and only one has been initially certified by a court as a class action, which we are appealing.
� The competitor to BD referenced in CBS�s website has for some time been waging an aggressive media and legal campaign against BD, in a matter that clearly serves his own self-interests. Although this competitor claims to be "blocked", it currently has contracts with four of the five major hospital GPOs in the US.
We met with 60 Minutes last fall and in great detail spelled out why our actions have always been proper. They appear to have chosen to reject what we told them. Because it became clear after our meeting that they were intent on pursuing a one-sided story, with a predetermined conclusion, we declined to go on the air for an edited interview that would just serve to reinforce a biased story.
We will take strong action to defend the integrity of BD. Today I am sending a letter to CBS informing them that we will not sit idly by while our company is attacked in this way. We are also reaching out to our customers and others in the BD community to assure them that the charges made in the show are wholly without merit.
You can feel free to share the information contained in this letter with your customers. You will also receive more information from us next week. If you are approached by any media source with questions, please refer it to Camilla Jenkins at extension 5369 in Franklin Lakes. If you are contacted by investors or industry analysts, please refer them to Dean Paranicas at extension 7102.
BD is a company with high integrity and extremely high quality products. We pioneered the development of safety-engineered devices, and have led this effort for over a decade. As an associate of this company, you can be very proud of what we have done. BD has weathered other attacks, and has proven again and again that if you "do what is right", others will recognize you for your integrity. I am certain that those who know us will see these charges for the fabrications that they are.
CEO and President