Digital therapeutics company HealthBeacon has opened its new Green Labs facility in Dublin, which will provide facilities for a circular economy for pharmaceutical clients and an R&D centre for sustainable solutions for sharps waste in Ireland.
The Dublin headquartered firm develops products for managing injectable medications for people in the home.
HealthBeacon and Novartis Ireland have formed a partnership to use the Green Labs to provide sustainability solutions quickly and easily for patients on Novartis treatments.
The first phase of this is the provision of reusable sharps bins to rheumatology, dermatology and neurology patients.
Smart technology reminds the patient to take their medication and notifies them when their sharps bin is nearing capacity.
The full sharps bin is then collected from the patient's home, undergoes a validated washing regime and can then be returned to the patient for re-use, ensuring an environmentally friendly service for patients.
HealthBeacon currently employs over 50 staff at its Dublin headquarters and operates across multiple markets with significant presence in the US, the UK and the Netherlands.
According to the World Health Organisation, each year an estimated 16 billion injections are administered worldwide.
HealthBeacon said its Green Labs is a positive step towards addressing the global challenge of sustainably managing patients' waste and supporting pharmaceutical companies to engage in more sustainable waste management practices.
HealthBeacon CEO and co-founder Jim Joyce said that billions of injectable waste devices and hundreds of millions of sharps bins end up in household trash, landfills or incineration facilities
"Today, in partnership with Novartis in Ireland we are taking a major step in reversing those unsustainable practices by launching our new EPA licensed Green Labs facility," he said.
"This facility will allow us to sustainably process Sharps Bins and Injectable waste across Ireland. Together through innovative solutions and partnerships we can improve patient care in a more sustainable way," he added.
Audrey Derveloy, Country President of Novartis in Ireland, said the company knows from feedback from patients in Ireland, and with the increased provision of healthcare in patients' homes, that it is more important than ever for organisations to partner on developing sustainable solutions to medical waste management.
"Novartis' goal is to optimally treat disease, with the HealthBeacon 'smart' sharps bin being just one example of a beyond the pill solution designed to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients," she said.
"This new partnership gives us the opportunity to go a step further and work to provide a fully circular pharmaceutical supply chain for patients in Ireland, moving Novartis closer to its ambition to be carbon neutral across our supply chain by 2030," she added.
Speaking at today's launch Leo Clancy, Enterprise Ireland CEO, said the the agency is proud to partner with HealthBeacon as they continue to play an important role in improving patient outcomes by harnessing smart technology.
"This latest step in their journey, as they partner with Novartis, also brings sustainable practices to the fore which is critically important, as the transition to a low carbon and circular economy is a whole of society challenge," he added.
Also at today's launch, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said this generation should aim to pass the planet on to the next in a better condition than we inherited it.
"A big part of this involves using fewer of the earth’s resources and recycling, repairing and reusing materials more often. It’s called the circular economy," he said.
"Medical waste I know can be a particular challenge given the need to make sure quality and safe standards are high and consistent and sterile to prevent infection. But there are solutions," he added.