Medical device reprocessing design tips from Cardinal Health’s Sustainable Technologies

Medical device reprocessing includes mechanical, chemical and/or electrical processes. [Photo courtesy of Cardinal Health Sustainable Technologies]

Medical device reprocessing is a key focus for Cardinal Health’s Sustainable Technologies business, which collects and cleans single-use devices for safe re-use under FDA standards.

Reprocessed devices keep medical waste out of landfills while offering significantly lower costs than brand-new products for hospitals and other healthcare customers, according to the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors.

Meg McClanahan, chair of the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors Board and global portfolio director for Cardinal Health’s Sustainable Technologies business, offered some advice for designing medical devices for reprocessing.

Previously: Cardinal Health expands single-use device reprocessing facility

What advice can Cardinal He…
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Solenis-Diversey deal highlights trend for strategic, sustainability-focused acquisitions

Solenis, a specialty chemicals company serving water-intensive industries, wrapped up its $4.6 billion acquisition of Diversey Holdings, Ltd., a supplier of hygiene, infection prevention, and cleaning products to global pharmaceutical companies.

This acquisition comes amid a trend of smaller, more strategic M&A activity in the pharma sector during the second quarter of 2023. While the Solenis-Diversey deal bucks this trend in terms of deal size, it aligns with the strategic nature of recent acquisitions in the industry.

The merger creates a global firm specializing in integrated water and hygiene that operates in more than 130 countries with 71 sites and 15,000 employees. 

Before the acquisition, Solenis already served a diverse number of industrial sectors, including pulp, paper, oil and gas, chemical processing, mining, biorefining, power and municipal markets. 

Solenis-Diversey deal could be harbinger of more chemicals sector M&A deals

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Raumedic plans lower-emission energy center project

Raumedic expects to complete construction of its new energy center by the end of 2024. [Illustration courtesy of Raumedic]

Raumedic is working on an energy plant project at its Helmbrechts, Germany headquarters to generate heat and power from renewable sources.

The medical device component developer and manufacturer expects to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 85% through the collaboration with energy network operator E.ON.

It’s the latest sustainability move in the medtech supply chain, as medical device OEMs, contract manufacturers and suppliers work to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

Related: Boston Scientific’s Kathryn Unger on how to stand up an ESG program

A new wood chip heating plant will supply the entire Raumedic campus with heat, replacing natural gas combustion with biomass. Raumedic says the biomass will save around 1,800 tons of …

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Why a smart approach to AI-driven drug discovery prioritizes sustainability

[sdecoret/Adobe Stock]

The fact that the biopharmaceutical industry has a large carbon footprint is well established. A 2022 study from My Green Lab confirmed that biotech and pharma are still among the globe’s top polluters. The research highlights that a mere 4% of the largest publicly-traded biotech and pharmaceutical firms have climate commitments in line with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cap warming at 1.5°C by 2030.

Yet climate change remains the most pressing threat to human health, potentially causing 250,000 additional deaths per year, as the World Economic Forum has noted.

AI as a doubled-edged sword in sustainability

For biopharma, AI-driven drug discovery could serve as a double-edged sword when it comes to sustainability. On the one hand, these technologies promise to enable new discoveries and optimized processes that could slash emissions.

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How Medtronic’s conflict minerals program investigates red flag suppliers

Gold is one of the most commonly used conflict minerals. [Illustration by Yuliia via Adobe Stock]

Materials like gold, tin and tungsten can save lives when used in medical devices, but global manufacturers like Medtronic must take steps to avoid inadvertently funding violence and human rights abuses with these “conflict minerals.”

Medtronic is the largest medical device company in the world, so its conflict minerals program is a good example of how medtech manufacturers look deep into their supply chain to comply with federal disclosure requirements.

“At Medtronic, we’re committed to maintaining good citizenship as a company, which includes obtaining the minerals necessary to manufacture our products only from socially responsible sources,” the company said in a statement to Medical Design & Outsourcing.

What are conflict minerals?

Conflict minerals include cassiterite,…

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Boston Scientific’s Kathryn Unger on how to stand up an ESG program

Kathryn Unger is VP of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) at Boston Scientific. [Photo courtesy of Boston Scientific]

Kathryn Unger, VP of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) at Boston Scientific, joined the medical device developer and manufacturer in September 2022 to form the ESG team.

“The patient is and must be at the center of everything we do,” she said DeviceTalks Boston in May. “We’re constantly trying to ensure that we have the absolute best patient outcome, from a risk-to-the-patient perspective, period. That has to be our guiding principle, right? However, that’s not an excuse to not improve the design of our medical devices. … There has to be product stewardship that starts before you get to the manufacturing piece. And that design needs to be circular and consider the full life cycle.”

Unger had advice for companies that want to launc…

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CRB installs new senior director of sustainability

The life sciences and food and beverage consulting firm CRB has named Mike Dieterich as its senior director of sustainability. Dieterich has more than 17 years of experience working in energy and sustainability. He’s led sustainability initiatives at companies such as AstraZeneca where he served as director, U.S. sustainability from January 2018 to April 2023.

With his appointment as the sustainability lead at CRB, Dieterich’s primary responsibility is to build the company’s energy and sustainability consulting services group, focusing on front-end energy and sustainability needs for biopharma and food and beverage manufacturing clients.

Pharma getting serious about sustainability

Pharma’s environmental impact is under the microscope, and companies ranging from AbbVie to Amgen have set ambitious goals to slash carbon emissions, waste and water consumption in the coming years.

A recent Cornell University study suggests the industry…

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BD explores plastic blood tube recycling

Blood tube recycling could give new life to high-quality materials that are currently incinerated after use. [Photo via Adobe Stock]

Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX) will explore blood tube recycling in a sustainability pilot program.

BD’s partners include Odense University Hospital, the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark, Danish Technological Institute, and GMAF Circular Medico/EcoFitt.

These plastic blood collection tubes are made from high-quality raw materials, but are incinerated with other biohazardous waste after use. The blood tube recycling pilot program will investigate the steps for recycling the tubes, including an evaluation of the recycled plastic’s quality and safety and hygiene precautions.

BD is the world’s largest manufacturer of evacuated blood collection tubes, BD Sustainable Medical Technology Institute Amit Limaye said.

“As part of…

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Sustainable coating demand is changing medical device design and manufacturing

Coated needles [Photo courtesy of Surface Solutions Group]

‘Forever chemical’ replacements are on the way thanks to sustainable coating research and collaboration.

By George Osterhout, Surface Solutions Group

Fluoropolymers are getting a bad name.

For more than a decade, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) used to manufacture polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings for the medical device industry have been highly scrutinized by regulatory agencies including the EPA and the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR).

In 2010, the EPA recommended the elimination of PFOA in all PTFE coatings by 2015, including those used for medical devices. PTFE coatings are used for guidewires, mandrels, hypotubes, coil wires and needles. Since then, PTFE manufacturing companies have turned to short-chain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as an alternati…

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Tegra Medical achieves ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification

NEWS RELEASE: Tegra Medical Achieves ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification

The medical device manufacturer commits to reducing its environmental impact

Tegra Medical, a leading contract manufacturer of medical devices and a member of SFS, which is headquartered in Heerbrugg Switzerland, today announced it has achieved ISO 14001 certification in all four of its locations in the Americas.

ISO 14001 certification, the world’s most widely recognized standard for Environmental Management Systems, is granted to companies that identify and manage aspects of their business to reduce their environmental impact. Certification is established with a baseline, which is determined after an extensive audit of a company’s procedures.

The audit is followed by a plan for improvement in selected areas. Some of Tegra Medical’s areas upon which to focus improvement include material reuse, waste reduction, composting, and evaluating equipment for a…

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Exploring the potential of Web3-based carbon tracking in pharma

[Alexander/Adobe Stock]

Carbon tracking is a challenge in many industries, including the pharma sector. Companies are looking to manage their carbon emissions more effectively and meet their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, noted Maxence Cacheux, Zblocks co-founder and chief revenue officer. “They need to measure their internal carbon emissions (Scope 1), indirect emissions from the energy they use (Scope 2) and indirect emissions from their suppliers (Scope 3),” he noted. Although adoption is early, Zblocks executives believe there is a clear need for Web3-based carbon tracking in pharma. “The challenge that blockchain can solve is is the lack of transparency and trust in carbon accounting and trading systems,” Cacheux said. “There are gaps in reporting. Additionally, all the data you’re collecting from multiple sources can be potentially tampered, and there is no auditability.” Web3-ba…
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The pros and cons of membrane-based WFI generation and distillation for biopharma

Modern ambient water for injection (AWFI) generation system [Image courtesy of CRB]

The pharma industry is in the process of moving toward ambient water for injection (WFI).

Despite changes to regulations almost five years ago that allowed for alternative methods of generating WFI, the industry has been slow to fully embrace the shift away from traditional distillation despite the significant advantages of membrane-based WFI generation.

For companies with legacy distillation systems, the investment in new equipment for ambient WFI can be significant. Given its history, many pharmaceutical companies are familiar with the traditional distillation method.

In this article, industry experts from CRB, Chris Carlson and Jarrod Wrampe, describe the considerations to keep in mind when choosing between membrane-based WFI and traditional distillation for pharma applications.

Pro for membrane-based WFI …
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