Closure May Lead to Medical Device Shortage & Impact Patients
Georgia Bio member companies are dedicated to improving patients’ lives-enhancing patient safety and expanding patient access to innovative treatments. Public health and environmental protection are central to the values of the life sciences community. Our member companies continually strive to exceed regulations and reduce their environmental footprint.
We are very concerned with the potential shut down of BD’s Covington facility over the use of EtO. Ethylene oxide is the safest, and sometimes, only method for ensuring the sterilization of medical devices for clinicians and patients. Approximately 50% of all medical devices are sterilized using EtO, accounting for more than 20 billion devices annually in the U.S. Many of our members manufacture devices and products that cannot be sterilized by any other means due to their complex nature, including pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, cardiac catheters, biopsy instruments and surgical fixation devices and vascular access devices including PICCs, midlines and ports. BD is the largest supplier of urinary catheters that are used in almost every surgical procedure that takes longer than 2 hours. They are also one of the only suppliers for pediatric vascular access devices used to deliver chemotherapy to children with cancer.
Georgia Bio believes policy makers have an obligation to protect the public from harmful emissions from any source, and we believe all industrial facilities in our state should meet or exceed safety standards. We support an open and transparent debate regarding EtO that is grounded in scientific fact, but caution that a hasty decision to close this facility or severely restrict the use of ethylene oxide would endanger the health of thousands, possibly even millions, of patients who are relying on sterile medical products.
About Georgia Bio
Georgia Bio is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) trade association whose mission is to advance the growth of Georgia’s life sciences industry and foster strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world. Georgia Bio member companies are dedicated to improving patients’ lives – enhancing patient safety and expanding patient access to innovative treatments. Public health and environmental protection are central to the values of the life sciences community. Georgia Bio members include bioscience and medtech companies, academic and research institutions, life science service providers, digital health companies, and related organizations. For more information, visit www.gabio.org or follow us on Twitter @Georgia_Bio.