Why We Think It’s Important

  • Why We Think It's Important

    This is not the official site for the puncture movie, rather an unofficial site about the movie, the real people behind the characters, the legal case that is the subject of the movie and the important underlying issues that the movie touches on. The website is divided into the following.

    The Story

    "Puncture" is legal thriller loosely based on the true story of two struggling young lawyers, Michael Weiss (Chris Evans) and Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen), who were hired by an eccentric inventor/manufacturer to find out why he couldn't sell his remarkable, lifesaving safety syringe to U. S. hospitals.

    Accidental Needle Sticks & Needle Reuse

    In the early 1990's, the inventor had developed the syringe to prevent healthcare workers from accidentally getting stuck with contaminated needles, which can transmit HIV/AIDs, hepatitis and other potentially fatal diseases. Nurses and doctors loved the device as it stopped them from obtaining accidental needle sticks, and the National Institute of Health even awarded him a grant to enable him refine it. This was to be the new miracle product that, he hoped, would eliminate the millions of potentially-deadly needle-stick injuries that occur every year from needle reuse throughout the world.

    GPOs Keep Innovative Products Out of the Marketplace

    Despite the obvious benefits and cost-effectiveness of the syringe, the inventor was barred from even showing it to hospital purchasing agents. The reason, Weiss and Danziger discovered, was a corrupt arrangement between monolithic hospital purchasing cartels and a big needle maker, in which the industry giant was able to pay millions in kickbacks to the cartels to make sure its unsafe products — and only its products— were used in hospitals. They found that these cartels, known as hospital group purchasing organizations (GPOs), effectively blocked the introduction of all kinds of innovative medical products, not just syringes, costing the US healthcare system over $37 billion each year.

    Lawsuit

    Weiss and Danziger drafted a lawsuit against the big needle maker and the GPOs. The case never went to trial. Several years later, Mark Lanier settled the case on the courthouse steps for $150 million.

    Still Work to Be Done

    While some progress was made when the Needle Safety and Prevention Act was signed, it didn't resolve the underlying problems. Unsafe needles are still used throughout the country. Nurses & other health care professionals still get infected and die as a result of preventable accidental needle-stick injuries. GPOs, still driven by supplier kickbacks, continue to control the purchasing of medical supplies in the U. S., endangering the health and safety of patients, and nurses and the financial health of our nation. Needle reuse still causes over 1.2 million deaths a year and over 20 million Hepatitis C infections in Africa and India.