Marc Koska

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Marc Koska
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Koska in 2008
Marc Andrew Koska

14 March 1961 (1961-03-14) (age 60)
Bournemouth, England
Education Stowe School, Buckinghamshire

Marc Andrew Koska OBE (born 14 March 1961 in Bournemouth) is best known for inventing the non-reusable K1 auto-disable syringe, thus preventing the medical transmission of blood-borne diseases. [1]



Koska attended Stowe School, a boarding independent school for boys (now co-educational), in the village of Stowe (near Buckingham), in Buckinghamshire.

Life and career

Koska travelled for several years with a short period working in the City of London. He skied, sailed and worked his way around Europe, US and the Caribbean. In the Caribbean he worked as a model maker of scenes of crime to be used in courts.

K1 Syringe

In 1984 Koska read a newspaper article predicting the transmission of HIV through the reuse of needles and syringes. Koska was fascinated by the problem and vowed to do something about it. He studied how drug addicts used syringes in the UK, went to Geneva to learn about Public Health Policy, visited several syringe factories, studied plastic injection moulding, and read everything available on the transmission of viruses like HIV.

After a year of intense study, Koska concluded that syringe manufacture was the key to the problem. Koska designed a syringe (K1) that could be made on existing equipment with a small modification. It was made from the same materials and could be used in the same way as a normal syringe so that healthcare professionals would not have to retrain. K1 syringes cannot be used again so the next patient will also have a sterile and safe injection.

Koska recognised that new syringes were only one part of the solution. One must also teach the public about the dangers of reusing needles. In 2005 Koska founded The SafePoint Trust, a registered charity dedicated to educating children about this issue.

On 23 July 2009, Koska gave a lecture on his life-saving invention to TEDOxford: [2]

2008 India Campaign

In November 2008, Koska and a SafePoint Trust team led a major media and public-awareness campaign throughout India in an attempt to do something about the prevalence of unsafe injections and the resultant illness and death that they cause in that country. They travelled throughout India giving their One Injection, One Syringe message to the media at press conferences for over a week. In addition, a specially made PSA entitled Sachin (in both English and Hindi) was repeatedly shown on television channels, radio stations and cinemas across the country. Watch the Sachin PSA in English; Sachin PSA in Hindi. As a result, SafePoint's message achieved widespread coverage throughout India. [3]

Koska then met with Anbumani Ramadoss, India's State Minister for Health, who decided to outlaw the use of ordinary syringes, making auto-disable syringes mandatory – initially in Central Government Hospitals with regional State-controlled facilities to follow and, later, in private hospitals as part of a second phase – throughout the whole of India. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Making the Point is a SafePoint-produced video report on the campaign, culminating in Dr Ramadoss's landmark decision.

Koska's SafePoint team is currently planning to target Africa next. [9]

ApiJect Systems Corporation

In 2018, [10] Marc Koska [11] and Jay Walker co-founded ApiJect Systems, Corp., a medical technology company that creates single-use plastic injectors. [12]


Koska has been recognised [13] [14] for his personal achievements as well as for those of his commercial company, Star Syringe, in the fields of business, innovation, sustainability, product design, health, contribution to society and social responsibility. Full list of awards won.

Personal life

As of 2001, Koska lives in East Sussex, England, with his wife Anna Koska and their three children.

Related Research Articles

Harm reduction

Harm reduction, or harm minimization, refers to a range of public health policies designed to lessen the negative social and/or physical consequences associated with various human behaviors, both legal and illegal. Harm reduction policies are used to manage behaviors such as recreational drug use and sexual activity in numerous settings that range from services through to geographical regions.

Syringe Medical injection device

A syringe is a simple reciprocating pump consisting of a plunger that fits tightly within a cylindrical tube called a barrel. The plunger can be linearly pulled and pushed along the inside of the tube, allowing the syringe to take in and expel liquid or gas through a discharge orifice at the front (open) end of the tube. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle, a nozzle or tubing to direct the flow into and out of the barrel. Syringes are frequently used in clinical medicine to administer injections, infuse intravenous therapy into the bloodstream, apply compounds such as glue or lubricant, and draw/measure liquids.

Needle and syringe programmes Method of providing drug users with uninfected equipment

A needle and syringe programme (NSP), also known as needle exchange program (NEP), is a social service that allows injecting drug users (IDUs) to obtain hypodermic needles and associated paraphernalia at little or no cost. It is based on the philosophy of harm reduction that attempts to reduce the risk factors for blood-borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

A blood-borne disease is a disease that can be spread through contamination by blood and other body fluids. Blood can contain pathogens of various types, chief among which are microorganisms, like bacteria and parasites, and non-living infectious agents such as viruses. Three bloodborne pathogens in particular, all viruses, are cited as of primary concern to health workers by the CDC-NIOSH: HIV, hepatitis B (HVB), & hepatitis C (HVC).

Needle sharing is the practice of intravenous drug-users by which a needle or syringe is shared by multiple individuals to administer intravenous drugs such as heroin, steroids, and hormones. This is a primary vector for blood-borne diseases which can be transmitted through blood. People who inject drugs (PWID) are at an increased risk for Hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV due to needle sharing practices. From 1933 to 1943, malaria was spread between users in the New York City area by this method. Afterwards, the use of quinine as a cutting agent in drug mixes became more common. Harm reduction efforts including safe disposal of needles, supervised injection sites, and public education may help bring awareness on safer needle sharing practices.

BD (company) American Biotechnology Company

Becton, Dickinson and Company, also known as BD, is an American multinational medical technology company that manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents. BD also provides consulting and analytics services in certain geographies.

Injection (medicine) Method of medication administration

An injection is the act of administering a liquid, especially a drug, into a person's body using a needle and a syringe. An injection is considered a form of parenteral drug administration; it does not involve absorption in the digestive tract. This allows the medication to be absorbed more rapidly and avoid the first pass effect. There are many types of injection, which are generally named after the body tissue the injection is administered into. This includes common injections such as subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous injections, as well as less common injections such as intraperitoneal, intraosseous, intracardiac, intraarticular, and intracavernous injections.

Jet injector Medical injecting syringe

A jet injector is a type of medical injecting syringe device used for a method of drug delivery known as jet injection, in which a narrow, high-pressure stream of liquid that penetrates the outermost layer of the skin to deliver medication to targeted underlying tissues of the epidermis or dermis, fat, or muscle.

Needlestick injury Accidental puncture of skin causing contamination

A needlestick injury is the penetration of the skin by a hypodermic needle or other sharp object that has been in contact with blood, tissue or other body fluids before the exposure. Even though the acute physiological effects of a needlestick injury are generally negligible, these injuries can lead to transmission of blood-borne diseases, placing those exposed at increased risk of infection from disease causing pathogens, such as the hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Among healthcare workers and laboratory personnel worldwide, more than 25 blood-borne virus infections have been reported to have been caused by needlestick injuries. In addition to needlestick injuries, transmission of these viruses can also occur as a result of contamination of the mucous membranes, such as those of the eyes, with blood or body fluids, but needlestick injuries make up more than 80% of all percutaneous exposure incidents in the United States. Various other occupations are also at increased risk of needlestick injury, including law enforcement, laborers, tattoo artists, food preparers, and agricultural workers.

Needle remover

A needle remover is a device used to physically remove a needle from a syringe. In developing countries, there is still a need for improvements in needle safety in hospital settings as most of the needle removal processes are done manually and under severe risk of hazard from needles puncturing skin risking infection. These countries cannot afford needles with individual safety devices attached, so needle-removers must be used to remove the needle from the syringe. This lowers possible pathogen spread by preventing the reuse of the syringes, reducing incidents of accidental needle-sticks, and facilitating syringe disposal.

Sharps waste

Sharps waste is a form of biomedical waste composed of used "sharps", which includes any device or object used to puncture or lacerate the skin. Sharps waste is classified as biohazardous waste and must be carefully handled. Common medical materials treated as sharps waste are hypodermic needles, disposable scalpels and blades, contaminated glass and certain plastics, and guidewires used in surgery.

Drug injection

Drug injection is a method of introducing a drug into the bloodstream via a hollow hypodermic needle, which is pierced through the skin into the body. Intravenous therapy, a form of drug injection, is universally practiced in modernized medical care. As of 2004, there were 13.2 million people worldwide who, of which 22% are from developed countries.

Vietnam faces a concentrated HIV epidemic.

HONOReform – is a patient advocacy organization that seeks to promote adherence to injection safety guidelines and increase governmental oversight of outpatient medical facilities. In addition to promoting lessons learned from outbreaks of hepatitis C, the organization advocates for a more compassionate response to large scale medical disasters.

The Safepoint Trust is a UK registered charity, no. 1119073, that focuses on injection safety. Its aim is to educate people, worldwide, to ensure that the billions of medical injections given each year are given safely. The charity was founded by the inventor Marc Koska, OBE in 2006.

HIV prevention refers to practices that aim to prevent the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV prevention practices may be undertaken by individuals to protect their own health and the health of those in their community, or may be instituted by governments and community-based organizations as public health policies.

Safety syringe

A safety syringe is a syringe with a built-in safety mechanism to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries to healthcare workers and others. The needle on a safety syringe can be detachable or permanently attached. On some models, a sheath is placed over the needle, whereas in others the needle retracts into the barrel. Safety needles serve the same functions as safety syringes, but the protective mechanism is a part of the needle rather than the syringe. Legislation requiring safety syringes or equivalents has been introduced in many nations since needlestick injuries and re-use prevention became the focus of governments and safety bodies.

Prevention of viral hemorrhagic fever

Prevention of viral hemorrhagic fever is similar for the different viruses. There are a number of different viral hemorrhagic fevers including Ebola virus disease, Lassa fever, Rift valley fever, Marburg virus disease, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and yellow fever. Lassa, Ebola, Marburg and CCHF can be spread by direct contact with the body fluids of those infected. Thus the content here covers the prevention of Ebola.

Injector pen Drug storage and delivery device

An injector pen is a device used for injecting medication under the skin. First introduced in the 1980s, injector pens are designed to make injectable medication easier and more convenient to use, thus increasing patient adherence. The primary difference between injector pens and traditional vial and syringe administration is the easier use of an injector pen by people with low dexterity, poor vision, or who need portability to administer medicine on time. Injector pens also decrease the fear or adversity towards self-injection of medications, which increases the likelihood that a person takes the medication.

ApiJect Systems

ApiJect Systems Corporation is an American company founded in 2018 by Marc Koska and based in Stamford, Connecticut that produces pre-filled single use plastic injectors. The company claimed to have the capacity to manufacture pre-filled COVID-19 vaccine syringes by the end of 2020.


  1. Used needles are causing a health crisis in India, Sunday Times, 22 March 2009
  2. "Marc Koska at TEDGlobal 2009: Running notes from Session 7". TEDOxford. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  3. UK charity promotes safe injections, The Times of India, 20 November 2008
  4. Sussex businessman makes big change in India, East Grinstead Courier and Observer, 13 February 2009
  5. Use of auto disabled syringes will be mandatory, assures Ramadoss Archived 25 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine ,, 11 December 2008
  6. Use of auto disable syringes made mandatory Archived 27 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine , Hindustan Times, 12 December 2008
  7. Use of Auto Disable Syringes made Mandatory, Express Healthcare, Dec 2008
  8. Use of auto disabled syringes will be mandatory, assures Min, Indopia, 11 December 2008
  9. "One use only: the broken syringe that saves lives". WIRED (CondéNet International). 6 August 2009. Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  10. "ApiJect Systems Corp". Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  11. "Comment la seringue unidose peut révolutionner les campagnes de vaccination". BFM BUSINESS (in French). Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  12. "4 innovations that found their use case during the pandemic". MM+M - Medical Marketing and Media. 9 March 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  13. "Tech Museum honors tech that benefits humanity". CNET News (CBS Interactive Inc.). 12 November 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  14. "Firms encouraged to apply for award". East Grinstead Courier and Observer. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2009.