BANNOCKBURN, IL., September 30, 2019 - A quarter (25%) of Americans with diabetes admit one of their biggest concerns with regard to diabetic care is how to properly dispose of needles. Furthermore, nearly one in 10 (7%) Americans with diabetes dispose needles/lancets in a public trash can when they are not at home, causing potential risk to others in their community, and the environment.
That’s according to findings from the new consumer study, “Access to Care & Sharps Disposal in the Diabetic Community,” conducted by Stericycle, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRCL), the leading provider of compliance-based solutions that protect people and brands, promote health and safeguard the environment.
“With nearly 10 percent of the American population living with diabetes today, we launched this survey to understand their concerns and difficulties surrounding administering care so we can find ways to make their disease easier to manage,” said Cindy Miller, President and CEO of Stericycle, Inc. “We believe that safe and compliant sharps disposal options in all public places will improve public safety by reducing risks of accidental needle pricks and environmental impacts.”
The survey of 1,200 Americans with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes revealed that nearly one in six (14%) typically dispose of used needles/lancets in a trash can in their home, despite the fact that the majority (61%) are concerned that their disposed needles/lancets could harm someone in their household or where they work. A lack of disposal options may be to blame for improper disposal of sharps, both in the home and in public. In fact, nearly half (42%) of Americans with diabetes say that a lack of public safety disposal containers is the biggest challenge they face when disposing of needles/lancets, and nearly two in five (38%) Americans with diabetes who have disposed of used needles/lancets in a public trash can did so because there were no safe disposal containers nearby and they had no other choice.
A lack of proper disposal options in public spaces are not the only challenges Americans with diabetes face. The majority (69%) of Americans with diabetes have administered an insulin injection in a public place, and the lack of disposal options is likely one of many reasons why it can trigger negative feelings. Less than one in four (21%) Americans with diabetes feel comfortable administering their insulin or medication in public, saying they feel embarrassed (25%), anxious (24%) and nervous (20%).
“Our research shows that greater access to safe, discreet disposal methods would alleviate a lot of the extra work, emotional anxiety and safety concerns they face every time they need to administer treatment. This is one problem we can help solve. In addition to educating the public on the needs of the diabetic community through this research, we’ve also partnered with the American Diabetes Association to provide greater awareness of care and disposal solutions for people living with diabetes,” said Miller.
Additional findings from the Stericycle study include:
Diabetes care is particularly difficult for Americans while traveling or socializing
- Nearly two in five (39%) Americans with diabetes find it most difficult to administer insulin/diabetes care while attending social activities
- More than one in four (28%) find it most difficult to administer insulin/diabetes care while traveling for work or leisure
- When traveling for work or leisure, unsanitary conditions presented the biggest challenge for administering diabetes self care for more than a third (35%) of Americans with diabetes, while 22% found the lack of safe disposal containers to be the biggest challenge
If more methods to safely dispose of sharps from diabetes care existed, Americans would use them
- More than half (52%) of Americans with diabetes have never encountered a sharps container in a public restroom, and therefore have never had a chance to use one
- However, if they were to see a sharps container in a public restroom, three in four (75%) Americans with diabetes would use it to dispose of their insulin/lancet needles
- The majority (85%) of Americans with diabetes think at-home sharps disposal kit would help them manage their diabetes care more easily, giving them another option for disposal
Greater awareness of diabetes care and access to safe sharps disposal methods is needed
- One in five (21%) Americans with diabetes have not talked with friends and family about how to administer care/insulin to them in case of an emergency
- One in four (27%) Americans with diabetes have not talked with their doctor about proper needle disposal, and, therefore, may not be aware of proper disposal methods.
- Nearly one in five (19%) Americans with diabetes think a lack of options for disposing needles/lancets at home is the biggest challenge people with diabetes face today when disposing needles/lancets.
For more information about Stericycle and the “Access to Care & Sharps Disposal in the Diabetic Community” report, click here to read the full report.
Stericycle, Inc., (Nasdaq: SRCL) is a U.S. based business-to-business services company and leading provider of compliance-based solutions that protect people and brands, promote health and safeguard the environment. Stericycle serves more than one million customers in all 50 U.S. states and 21 countries worldwide with solutions for regulated waste management, secure information destruction, compliance and customer contact. For more information about Stericycle, please visit www.stericycle.com.