Rethinking the needle to extend the reach of lifesaving vaccines and medications
What if vaccines for developing countries could be prepackaged in low-cost prefilled syringes, vastly reducing the amount of vaccine wasted?
What if syringes could not be reused—and we knew for certain that gateway to HIV transmission was closed?The Uniject™ autodisable injection system (Uniject), born in PATH’s Seattle shop, is little more than a small bubble of plastic attached to a needle, but it answers all these needs. It is so simple that health workers can learn to use it after less than two hours of training. It cannot be reused, which eliminates one route of disease transmission. And it is precisely prefilled by the pharmaceutical producers with a single dose, which ensures that the correct amount of drug is delivered and that none is discarded unnecessarily.
PATH developed Uniject with funding from the US Agency for International Development and then licensed the system to BD, the largest syringe manufacturer in the world. As part of the licensing agreement, BD supplies the Uniject system to pharmaceutical producers at preferential prices for use in developing-country programs. Developing Uniject and bringing it to market has been a 20-year endeavor.
Originally developed for use with vaccines, Uniject now promises to extend the reach of other lifesaving drugs as well as contraception.
Uniject is a trademark of BD.
Photo: PATH/Patrick McKern.
Using oxytocin in the Uniject™ injection system to prevent postpartum hemorrhage
Contraception in Uniject
Expanding access to family planning using Uniject™ injection system
Gentamicin in Uniject
Use of Uniject™ injection system for prompt delivery of antibiotics
Vaccines in Uniject
Using Uniject™ injection system to extend the reach of immunization programs