"Pre-filled syringes are advantageous for self-injecting patients and medical, para-medical staff. They are very easy to use and come with a needle-guard and a retractable needle. Hence, reducing the chance of needle stick injuries, which often expose patients, health workers and doctors to infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B," said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon, during the launch of the product on Wednesday in Bangalore.
With the new device, patients can be injected with the drug conveniently, without drawing the medicine into a syringe from a vial. The syringe has improved needle sharpness of five bevel size as against the regular three bevel size. This reduces injection pain a patient perceives.
"Pre-filled syringe is a relatively new concept in India. Biocon aims to provide this safe device at an affordable price," said Mazumdar-Shaw. Erypro Safe, 2000 IU, is priced at Rs 715, whereas Nufil Safe 0.5 ml, will cost Rs 1,975. Biocon has spent about Rs 20 crore on research and development (R&D) for this new drug delivery system, Mazumdar-Shaw said.
Though erythropoietin used by chronic kidney patients and the granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, used in the treatment of cancer, are currently made available in India in pre-filled syringe form by other companies, Biocon is the first firm in the country to launch it in syringes. It adds the safety device needle feature, said Rakesh Bamzai, president, marketing, Biocon.
Companies such as Johnson and Johnson market pre-filled syringes in India.
Biocon has spent about Rs 20 crore on research and development (R&D) for this new drug delivery system, Mazumdar-Shaw said. Pre-filled syringes is a Rs 200-300 crore market in India and is growing at a double digit. Biocon, which has a 10 per cent market share in the Rs 75-crore erythropoietin segment, aims to take it to 30 per cent in three years with the launch of pre-filled syringes.