I was presented an opportunity almost six years ago to lead a company that makes a significant difference in the lives of healthcare workers who handle hazardous drugs, such as chemo, by providing a closed-system drug transfer device (CSTD) that is airtight and leakproof. Carmel Pharma has seen phenomenal growth in every parameter over the past five-plus years, growing over three times our size from 2005. Our market penetration digs even deeper when (1) comparing our existing customers before 2006 and seeing how many of those who were using PhaSeal® in their pharmacy or nursing departments only, who now use it in pharmacy and nursing today; (2) those customers who were only using PhaSeal on a limited amount of drugs and now use it on all drugs; (3) new customers who never used a CSTD, but do use one today; and (4) customers finding new and innovative applications for CSTDs beyond hazardous drugs. This list will only continue to grow. We have witnessed a steady expansion in 2011 and look forward to an ever-growing customer base.
The superior quality of our product explains why we claim the majority of the market share. Today, customers can do their own on-site research/analysis and see how simple and easy PhaSeal is to use and how well it performs at preventing exposures from the vial to the waste bin (litmus tests, wipe tests, etc.). I am very proud that all of our product claims are supported by independent peer-reviewed and published data, allowing me to say to customers, “you don’t have to believe what I tell you (or my staff), but rather believe what your colleagues have tested and analyzed and see those results.”
I also place a high value of our success on the increased awareness and education on the dangers of handling hazardous drugs that move decision makers to understand the benefits of protecting their employees with PhaSeal. Five years ago, available educational resources were limited to a NIOSH release and a few published studies. Today, there is such an increased awareness due to updated safety guidelines, education initiatives such as Carmel’s Safe Handling Awareness Day and studies that show healthcare personnel who handle cytotoxic drugs are exposed to serious risks. In fact, in a recent chromosomal study led by Melissa A. McDiarmid, MD, MPH, DABT, results showed a dose response in those who handled hazardous drugs, meaning as frequency of drug handling goes up, frequency of chromosome abnormalities goes up.1 You can visit our Safe Handling section and scroll down to read more about Dr. McDiarmid’s findings in an interview with Carmel Pharma.
Studies continue to reveal important information that, in turn, allows the industry to develop solutions to protect healthcare workers from these effects. You can visit our website to view safety guidelines and independent, peer-reviewed, clinical studies.
We currently have data from a recent study published in The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits that shows PhaSeal can keep drug product sterile – a key benefit that impacts the use of drugs in short supply today and in the future. The study shows that PhaSeal works to provide a mechanical barrier to the entry of contaminants into sterile solutions and demonstrates that solutions could be expected to remain sterile for up to 168 hours.2
I can cite many more reasons for Carmel Pharma’s success such as hard work and the 50 employees who work with me. Customers tell me how our employees surpass their expectations – they are knowledgeable about our customers’ needs, PhaSeal and safe handling. We understand that safe handling isn’t just about a closed-system transfer device; it’s about keeping all healthcare workers safe from the start of their day to the end of their day.
I look forward to the next five years and seeing where you, as our customers take us, because you are the ones who are impacted every day by working as hard as you do to serve our communities by treating your patients. Without our customers, Carmel Pharma would not be who we are today and I thank you. Also, without our employees learning, listening and wanting to serve you, we would not have reached where we are today. Our goal for each and every customer is that we want to work with you and help improve how you work so that we continue to earn the right to work with you for decades to come.
Hard work, valuable customers, valuable employees, a superior product and a willingness to continually meet your needs is my measurement for success. And it makes a difference.
1McDiarmid M., Oliver M., Rogers B., et al. Chromosome 5 and 7 abnormalities in oncology personnel handling anticancer drugs. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2010; 52(10): 1028-1034.
2McMichael D, Jefferson D, Carey E, et al. Utility of the PhaSeal closed system drug transfer device. The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits. 2011; 3:9-16.