An Interview with Jim Erickson, CEO of UltiMed Inc. about the UltiGuard Safe Pack!

March 13, 2020 •
Interviews •
Views: 4885

Insulin syringes and pen needles are just part of daily life for many of our patients today. As such, the safe and appropriate disposal of sharps is a common concern. None of us want to see used, potentially harmful pen needles end up accidentally hurting someone.  Until now it was necessary for patients to have their pen needle box AND a separate container for their disposal. But not anymore! An innovative and convenient product has been developed that combines both the dispensing and disposal of the pen needles in a single product! I’m honored to tell my readers more about it!

It is a pleasure and honor to welcome CEO Jim Erickson of UltiMed, Inc. to tell us a little about their innovative pen needle product, the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack. Thanks for joining us Jim!

1)            To begin with, can you tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your career with UltiMed?

I love to watch hockey and spend time fishing at my cabin up north. My favorite hockey team is the Minnesota Wild. This season got off to a tough start, but I’m hopeful we can turn it around and finish the year strong. My kids also play hockey, so it’s part of my life on a daily basis. Minnesota’s most popular nickname may be The Land of 10,000 Lakes, but it’s also known as The State of Hockey 🙂 .

From a professional standpoint, I started my career in the investment banking industry and joined the UltiMed team in 2003. Joining UltiMed has been the most rewarding part of my career and our plans for the future will be exciting as we continue to focus on being the fastest growing injection device manufacturer in the U.S. 

2)            As a community pharmacist for nearly 30 years, I watched the development of self-injectables move from vials to pens, and this has resulted in much easier dosing and greater convenience for our patients. However, disposing of sharps, like pen needles, has always been a problem. How did the idea of a single-unit pen needle dispenser and disposal device come about?

Our founder Chuck Erickson knew he had to do something to stop used needles from washing up on public beaches and ending up in the waste stream putting the public at risk of contracting an infectious disease such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. It was important to Chuck that he be a good steward of the product he was making and safely containing used needles is the first step to ensuring public safety. This is the inspiration that led to the invention of the only all-in-one product that combines needles with a sharps container, Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack.

3)           Can you explain to my readers, which include both patients and pharmacists, how exactly the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack works?

Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack is easy to use. You simply remove a pen needle from the opening on the side of the container and administer your injection. When you’re done with your injection, you insert your pen injector (with the needle attached and not recapped) into the red receptacle on top and unthread it from your injector. Lastly, you turn the large dial on the side, releasing the needle into the FDA-cleared sharps container. Then simply dispose according to your local regulations.

4)           Are these pen needles compatible with the most frequently used insulin and medication pens that are on the market today?

Yes, our premium quality pen needles fit all pen injectors in the U.S. in accordance with ISO standards for compatibility.

5)           Patients are going to be concerned about comfort and ease of use. Have there been any studies or surveys that show how the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack pen needles compare to other brands when it comes to comfort and ease of use?

We understand comfort and ease of use is important to patients, which is why we take great pride in manufacturing the only U.S.-made pen needle. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, located in the heart of the Midwest, uses the latest equipment and technology to ensure our products meet or exceed patient satisfaction. We also perform third-party quality studies through UL (Underwriters Laboratories) to ensure our needles are as comfortable as the leading brand and offer a money back guarantee to anyone who is not 100% satisfied with our pen needles.

6)            Another patient concern will likely be the cost or the copay. Can you talk at all about the typical retail price or insurance copay for the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack pen needles?

Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack combines 100 pen needles with a sharps container and is covered by most insurance plans as a Tier II prescription benefit. It’s also covered by Medicare and under most state Medicaid programs, and, in most cases, patient copays will be the same as their current pen needle prescription.

7)            Pharmacists may wonder if they are covered by most payers and insurance plans will require any sort of Prior Authorization for the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack product. Can you speak to that at all?

Most insurance plans cover it and it does not require prior authorization. In most cases patient copays will be the same as their current pen needle prescription without a sharps container.

8)            Are the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack pen needles available from most major wholesalers?

Yes, all national and regional wholesalers carry Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack in all standard sizes.

9)            What should a patient do that wants to give the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack pen needles a try?

A patient can simply ask their pharmacist to try Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack. Most pharmacies currently dispense it, including CVS, but if their pharmacist is not familiar with it, they can purchase it from their preferred wholesaler, which typically delivers to pharmacies the next day.

10)         Can a pharmacist switch a patient from a different brand to the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack pen needle?

Yes. In fact, most pen needle prescriptions are not brand or size specific, so the pharmacist makes the decision on the best option for the patient. If a patient is using a different pen needle, pharmacists have the ability to substitute it with Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack. Dispense-as-written laws do not apply to pen needles.

11)         Are there any final words or comments you would like to say about the Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack pen needles to my readers?

Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack is a win-win-win. Patients benefit from premium quality pen needles and the convenience of an attached sharps container, pharmacies benefit from higher profit, and communities benefit through safe sharps stewardship. If haven’t tried Pen Needle UltiGuard Safe Pack, you need to. We guarantee you’ll be satisfied.