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BD Plays It Safe

Executive Summary

It's not often that a company gets the chance to, in effect, reinvent a major product category. Moreover, it's not often that government legislators and regulators give the company a significant boost in its effort. But that's exactly what's happened for sharps product leader Becton Dickinson & Co. As concerns about health care worker safety mount, legislation recently enacted in California requires hospitals to convert from severly price-squeezed conventional sharps products to new, specially-designed products--a kind of decommoditization of these highly commoditized product categories. And BD officials hope the California law is only the beginning.
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