By Sarah Faulkner
PharmaJet said yesterday that it inked a multi-year partnership as part of the World Health Organization’s effort to eradicate polio, using the Colorado-based company’s needle-free technology. Their Tropis device administers medication through the skin, without the use of needles.
Although polio has been eradicated from the Americas, Europe, South East Asia and the Western Pacific, there are countries where the virus runs rampant. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, polio is still endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The disease is caused by a virus that can be passed from person to person. Ninety percent of infected people are asymptomatic, making it difficult to intervene in the case of an epidemic. Often, the 1st sign of a polio epidemic is the irreversible paralysis that results from the infection. Those that do present symptoms are faced with fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and stiffness in the limbs.
There is no cure for polio, but there is an effective vaccine that has rendered many countries free of polio. The Tropis device delivers the polio vaccine intradermally, using pressure to force high-velocity streams of fluid through the skin.
Because the device is free of needles, there is no possibility for cross contamination or the re-use of needles, which can accidentally spread infectious disease. It also prevents health-care workers from needle stick injuries, which can expose them to potential pathogens. PharmaJet claims that its needle-free technology can encourage people to get vaccinated who normally wouldn’t because of a fear of needles.
“We are pleased that the PharmaJet device will be used for this important activity and we are proud to be part of the global effort to rid our planet of this terrible disease,” chairman & CEO Ron Lowry said in prepared remarks.