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March 14-18 - American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine Annual Meeting 2017

March 14-December 31 - Canaccord Genuity Musculoskeletal Conference

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Orthopedic and Dental Industry News Complete Archive »


K2M to Acquire e-Fellow and Launches Implant and Services Platform, Balance ACS BY BLAKE MOSSY, MARCH 7, 2017

K2M entered into an agreement to acquire e-Fellow, a mobile software platform that aims to streamline the patient billing and care process. e-Fellow offers service-based technology that provides real-time automated solutions that gathers and secures patient data, insurance preauthorization documentation,... more

Research Shows that A Permanent Repeal of the Medical Device Tax Could Recover 28,000 Jobs for the Industry BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MARCH 3, 2017

The American Action Forum (AAF) estimates that the medtech industry could recover the 28,000 jobs that were terminated during the implementation of the the Affordable Care Act's 2.3% medical device excise tax by 2021 if Congress permanently repeals the tax... more

Johnson & Johnson Launches its CareAdvantage and Orthopaedic Episode of Care Initiatives to Help Health Care Facilities Navigate Value-based Purchasing Models in the Medical Device Sector BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JANUARY 9, 2017

Johnson & Johnson announced the launch of its CareAdvantage initiative, a holistic, data-driven system that seeks to help healthcare facilities navigate a more value-based care environment and improve patient care, by leveraging and drawing insights out of the clinical, consumer... more

The China Food & Drug Administration Proposes Regulatory Changes for Medical Device Recalls BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, DECEMBER 1, 2016

The China Food & Drug Administration (CFDA) is planning to change its medical device regulation framework by proposing expanded requirements for medical device recalls and higher fines for medical device manufacturers that fail to issue such recalls. The proposed regulatory... more

Medtronic Launches its Orthopedic Solutions Initiative BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, NOVEMBER 14, 2016

Medtronic launched its Medtronic Orthopedic Solutions initiative, a comprehensive offering that seeks to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs for hospitals/patients across an entire episode of care of total joint replacement procedures. The company has developed this new offering in... more

Hospital for Special Surgery Tops List of Best Orthopedic Hospitals BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 3, 2016

U.S. News & World Report released their annual list of the best orthopedic hospitals in the country this week, and New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) topped the list once again in 2016. The only change in the... more

Zimmer Biomet Acquires 59% Stake in Medtech SA with Plans to Buy the Remaining Stake in the Future BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 19, 2016

Zimmer Biomet acquired a 59% stake in Medtech Société Anonyme, a French-based company that develops surgical robotic technologies to assist surgeons during medico-surgical interventions. The transaction values the business at an approximate enterprise value of $123.5 million, or 9.9x LTM... more

NuVasive to Acquire Biotronic NeuroNetwork for $98M BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JUNE 7, 2016

NuVasive entered into an agreement to acquire Biotronic NeuroNetwork, a Michigan-based provider of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring services, for $98 million in cash, or 2.0x 2015 revenues of approximately $50 million. Biotronic is a patient-centric healthcare organization that helps surgeons reduce... more

Medtronic to Acquire Responsive Orthopedics BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JUNE 7, 2016

Medtronic announced the acquisition of Responsive Orthopedics, a developer of low-cost primary joint replacement systems. In order to address the various macroeconomic changes taking place in the U.S. health care system, Responsive Orthopedics has focused on developing a platform of... more

New Legislation Aimed at Streamlining Novel Medical Device Access to CMS beneficiaries Introduced to the U.S. Senate BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JUNE 2, 2016

Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) introduced legislation to expedite the transitional coverage and payment of innovative medical device technologies by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to the U.S. Senate. The new bill, titled “Ensuring Patient Access to Critical... more

Senate Advances a Number of New Bills Aimed at Enhancing the FDA's Medical Device Regulatory Process BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MARCH 29, 2016

U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), have introduced a new bill to help streamline the FDA's methodology of reviewing medical devices to the Senate's Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee. The new bill titled, “A bill to... more

The Medical Center at Loma Linda University Reduces Orthopedic Procedure Costs by Instituting a Rep-less Sales Model BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JANUARY 28, 2016

As a broader effort to cut medical-device costs and improve clinical quality through greater standardization of devices used in surgical procedures, a small number of hospitals around the country are collaborating with manufacturers to train their own employees to provide... more

Moody's Raises U.S. Medical Device Market Rating from Stable to Positive BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 20, 2015

Moody's Investors Service has raised its outlook for the U.S. medical products and devices industry from "Stable" to "Positive" due to sector mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the commercialization of new products, and an uptick in growth of hospital admissions. In... more

Theragen Announces Acquisition of Neurotech North America BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 19, 2015

Theragen entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Neurotech North America, a manufacturer of non-invasive stimulation products for orthopedics and spine indications, and subsidiary of Bio-Medical Research, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Theragen gains access of the commercial... more

FDA on Track for Expediting Access to Medical Devices BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 12, 2015

According to an EP Vantage report, the FDA has cleared 26 devices with either premarket approval (PMA) or a humanitarian device exemption (HDE) in 1H:15, putting the regulatory agency on track this year to approve the most medical devices than... more

Hospital for Special Surgery Tops List of Best Orthopedic Hospitals BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 21, 2015

U.S. News & World Report released their annual list of the best orthopedic hospitals in the country this week, and New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) topped the list once again in 2015. The only change in the... more

Histogenics Prices IPO BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, DECEMBER 4, 2014

Histogenics priced its initial public offering (IPO) of 5.9 million shares of common stock at a price of $11.00 per share, raising total proceeds of $65 million. This equates to an enterprise value of approximately $139 million. The final terms... more

Histogenics Proposes Terms for IPO BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, NOVEMBER 18, 2014

Histogenics filed to raise between $56 million and $64 million through a previously announced initial public offering (IPO), by offering 4.3 million shares of common stock at a proposed price range of $13-$15 a share. At the midpoint of the... more

Histogenics Proposes $65M IPO BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, OCTOBER 8, 2014

Histogenics Corporation filed an S-1 to raise up to $65 million through an initial public offering (IPO) of common shares. The price range and number of shares to be sold in the offering has not yet been determined. Histogenics' principal... more

House Passes Legislation that Both Repeals and Refunds the 2.3% Device Excise Tax BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

In the last action till after the mid-term elections in November, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation that repeals the 2.3% medical device excise tax, demonstrating that the campaign to rescind the device tax continues in... more

Blackstone to Acquire Stake in Xinrong Best Medical Instrument for a Reported $100M BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

The Blackstone Group entered into an agreement to acquire an unspecified stake in Xinrong Best Medical Instrument Co., a Chinese-based developer of orthopedic implants with Trauma, Spine and Joint applications, for a reported $100 million. Xinrong is planning to target... more

Premarket Approvals Being Awarded Twice as Quickly This Year Compared to 2013 BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 19, 2014

According to new analysis provided by the Evaluate Group, the average premarket approval (PMA) review time in 2014 has been 18.4 months, twice as quick as the average time of 35.9 months in 2013. The Center for Devices and Radiological... more

Smith & Nephew Unveils New Discounted, Hospital-focused Sales Model BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 14, 2014

Smith & Nephew unveiled a new hospital-focused sales model that will offer two of the company's primary hip and knee implants through multiyear contracts at an approximate discounted rate of one-third.
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HealthpointCapital Business Board of Advisors member, Dick Foster, Shares His Views on How to Innovate in the Future Healthcare System BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 29, 2014

HealthpointCapital Business Board of Advisors member, Dick Foster, was recently interviewed by StartUp Health, where he shared his insight on the ever-shifting healthcare landscape. Dick Foster, a health care industry expert, was a founding member of McKinsey & Company's High... more

FDA Initiates Educational Program to Stimulate Faster Medical Device Development BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 23, 2014

The FDA initiated its National Medical Device Curriculum, a program that will be utilized to educate students and entrepreneurs about the agency's process for evaluating medical devices. The program will provide students at academic institutions and science and technology innovators/entrepreneurs... more

Hospital for Special Surgery Tops List of Best Orthopedic Hospitals BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 16, 2014

U.S. News & World Report released their annual list of the best orthopedic hospitals in the country this week, and New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery topped the list once again. The only change in the top five from... more

Johnson & Johnson Plans to Develop a Line of 3-D Printed Reconstructive Implants BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JUNE 26, 2014

Last month, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced that the company plans to file for more than 30 major product approvals within its Medical Device & Diagnostic (MD&D) unit by the end of 2016, in order to bolster the segment's overall... more

Microport to Expand Wright Medical Presence BY JOHN MCCORMICK, JUNE 13, 2014

This week, MicroPort, China's largest and most successful private medtech company, announced that it will be investing $100 million over the next 5 years to add to Wright Medical's training capabilities. Having recently closed its acquisition of the Wright Medical... more

Johnson & Johnson Plans to Launch 30 New Medical Devices by 2016 BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MAY 30, 2014

In the 2013 fiscal year, Johnson & Johnson's Pharmaceutical business grew 12% on a constant currency basis, outstripping the company's Medical Device & Diagnostic (MD&D) segment, which grew at 6%. Therefore, in order to bolster growth to its MD&D unit,... more

Proposed Expedited Regulatory Program For Medical Devices Addressing Unmet Medical Needs BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MAY 14, 2014

The FDA proposed a new expedited program that would provide earlier access to high-risk medical devices that are intended to treat or diagnose patients with serious conditions whose medical needs are unmet by current technology and devices. The Expedited Access... more

MHRA Notes a Decline in Overall Medical Device Adverse Events BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MAY 6, 2014

According to data published by the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the number of reported adverse incidents in the UK have declined 32% over the past three years from 21,729 in 2011 to 14,819 in 2013.... more

Study Demonstrates Joint Replacement Procedures are "Recession-proof" BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, APRIL 11, 2014

A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), concluded that the economic recessions experienced in the 21st century up to this point, have not substantially hindered the growth trends for hip and knee arthroplasty in... more

CMS to Begin Disclosing Medicare Procedure Data Publicly BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, APRIL 10, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new policy in which the federal agency will begin publicly disclosing data on Medicare services and procedures furnished by individual physicians and other professionals in order to make the U.S.... more

Johnson & Johnson Optimistic on Orthopedic Market Outlook BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JANUARY 24, 2014

Earlier this week, Johnson & Johnson reported financial results for 4Q:13 and FY2013. During the 4Q:13 earnings call, J&J management expressed an optimistic viewpoint regarding the outlook of the global orthopedic marketplace, noting that they expect utilization rates to increase... more

Medtronic CEO Discusses the Company's Growth Vectors BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JANUARY 17, 2014

Medtronic Chairman & CEO, Omar Ishrak, highlighted the company's strategic initiatives at J.P. Morgan's Healthcare Conference earlier this week in San Francisco. Mr. Ishrak outlined the three growth vectors driving Medtronic's overall strategy: therapy innovation, globalization and economic value. He... more

Globus Medical to Acquire Excelsius Surgical BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JANUARY 9, 2014

Globus Medical entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Excelsius Surgical, a company developing a novel surgical robotic positioning platform for the spine, brain and musculoskeletal markets. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however analysts estimate the... more

Drug Device Combination Product Market to Grow to $115B BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JANUARY 7, 2014

According to a new report from Transparency Market Research, the global market for drug device combination products is anticipated to grow from $66 billion in 2012 to $115.1 billion by 2019. According to the FDA, drug device combination products are... more

Medical Device Connectivity Market to Reach $33B by 2019 BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, DECEMBER 30, 2013

According to a new report from Transparency Market Research, the global medical device connectivity (MDC) market is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2012 to $33.5 billion by 2019. Medical device connectivity (MDC) is used to remotely control, configure... more

3-D Bioprinting's Many Possibilities BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, DECEMBER 17, 2013

Bioprinting, a computer-controlled 3-D printing process utilizing organic inks and robust thermoplastics to assemble living tissue structures, has capabilities ranging from reconstructing sections of the human skull to printing scaffolding structures upon which stem cells can grow into new bones... more

Partnerships & Startups Helping to Expand Med Device Industry into the Emerging Markets BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, DECEMBER 3, 2013

The once U.S.-centric medical device industry is maturing into a more globally connected industry as a greater number of U.S. medtech manufacturers are seeking to expand into emerging markets like China, India and Israel through investments in startups or partnering... more

Advancement in Negotiations Regarding a Repeal of the Medical Device Tax BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, OCTOBER 10, 2013

In recent weeks, House Republicans have made the repeal of the 2.3% medical device excise tax a prime focus in their larger opposition towards President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA). They are seeking repeal or at least a delay... more

3-D Bioprinting as a Means of Developing Soft Tissue Structures BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 23, 2013

There has been a rise in the levels of interest revolving around the potential of 3-D printers to develop living tissue structures. Such technology could transform the world of medicine as we know it, eventually making it possible to construct... more

Sun, Sea and Surgery? BY FEDERICO CIARDI, AUGUST 22, 2013

The industry of medical tourism is growing quickly all around the world in response to the ever-climbing price of US healthcare bills. Outraged patients have been warming to the idea of overseas provision of surgery and treatment over the past... more

Positive Outlook Predicted for European Medtech Industry BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, AUGUST 1, 2013

Through various market reports, researchers and industry professionals are predicting an overall positive outlook for the medtech industry in the European Union. The European Medtech Market is estimated at a size of €100 billion ($133 billion) and is growing approximately... more

Strong Quarter for Healthcare in Venture Capital Investment and Deal Volume BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 26, 2013

According to the Venture Capital Activity Report issued by CB Insights for 2Q:13, the share of early-stage deals in the 2Q:13 as a percentage of overall healthcare deals accounted for 41% of overall number of deals, a five-quarter high. The... more

Maryland's Emerging Medtech Industry BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 25, 2013

The state of Maryland normally goes unnoticed in regards to the medtech and bioscience sectors when compared to California, Massachusetts and Minnesota. However, the state has the research facilities, governmental institutions and programs, corporate partnerships, funding and ambition to advance... more

Hospital for Special Surgery Tops List of Best Orthopedic Hospitals BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JULY 16, 2013

U.S. News & World Report released their annual list of the best orthopedic hospitals in the country this week, and New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery topped the list once again. The only change in the top five from... more

Medical Device Sector Projected to Grow in Taiwan BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MAY 30, 2013

According to a recent study published by the Industry and Technology Intelligence Services (ITIS), a research institute of Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, the production value of the medical device sector in Taiwan is expected to grow 7.1% in 2013... more

Israel's Emerging Medical Device Marketplace BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MAY 16, 2013

Israel's medical device industry has become an exciting and promising marketplace due to the breadth of innovation taking place within it. Despite the domestic industry only accounting for 0.6% of the global medical device market in 2011, the country is... more

Report Reveals Orthopedic Surgeons Top the List of Physician Incomes BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MAY 7, 2013

The latest Physician Compensation Report, conducted by Medscape, revealed that the majority of physicians' incomes are increasing with Orthopedic surgeons leading the way. In the industry report, 21,878 U.S. doctors in 25 specialties were surveyed on questions pertaining to their... more

Chinese Governmental Expenditure on Healthcare Anticipated to Rise BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, APRIL 25, 2013

Two independent industry reports illustrate encouraging signs regarding the development of the healthcare industry in China, indicating that healthcare spending in the country will increase substantially in future years. Industry analysts at KPMG anticipate that Chinese governmental expenditure on pharmaceuticals,... more

Federal Report Depicts Medtech Employee Salaries Higher than National Average BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, APRIL 18, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Labor & Statistics released data exhibiting results that employees at medtech companies on average, are paid more than their counterparts in other industries. The figures concluded that in general, medical device workers earn an annual salary... more

Progress on Medtech Tax Repeal BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, APRIL 12, 2013

House Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN) issued a statement regarding his Protect Medical Innovation Act seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act's 2.3% medical device excise tax, has gained its 218th cosponsor in the House, giving the bill enough support to... more

Medical Device Segment Outperforms All other Industries in Patent Growth BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, APRIL 8, 2013

The latest State of Innovation report from Thomson Reuters revealed that the Medical Device industry accounted for 8% of global patent activity in 2012 and that the segment experienced the largest rate of prior period patent growth, increasing approximately 16%... more

Medical Device Industry Recognizes Significant Gains in Total M&A Value during 2012 BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, APRIL 2, 2013

The latest Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Deals Insights quarterly report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed a slight year-over-year decrease in transaction volume in the medtech sector, but noted that the sector's M&A market experienced its largest-ever rise in total value. PwC... more

Senate Votes in Favor of Repealing 2.3% Medical Device Excise Tax BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MARCH 22, 2013

Legislation seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act's 2.3% medical device excise tax received overwhelming support late last night in Congress. The Senate voted 79-20 in favor of revoking the 2.3% excise tax on medical device companies' device sales. Thirty-three... more

Congressman Dan Maffei Introduces New Legislation Repealing the 2.3% Medical Device Excise Tax BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, MARCH 22, 2013

House Representative Dan Maffei (D-NY) introduced new legislation to Congress seeking to retract the Affordable Care Act's 2.3% medical device excise tax in its entirety. Congressman Maffei’s proposed bill named, “The Medical Device Tax Elimination Act”, completely repeals the excise... more

FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Third-party Device Review Program BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, FEBRUARY 22, 2013

The FDA issued a new draft guidance document regarding the accreditation process for medical device companies utilizing its Third Party Review Program (TPRP). The draft aims to establish a regulatory framework that will be consistent with third party parameters currently... more

Japanese Regulators Call for Swifter Device Approval Timeframes BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

The Health, Labor & Welfare Ministry of Japan plans to propose a bill allowing up to 60% of the country's Class III medical devices such as kidney dialysis machines and generic dental implant products, to be eligible for the new... more

Investors Eye Medical Device Industry BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, JANUARY 24, 2013

Over the course of 2012, the medical device industry saw a significant increase in the amount of capital received and the level of interest from angel and seed investors. In 2012, there were 457 medtech angel- and seed-round financings equating... more

Medtech Tax - Little Has Changed BY JOHN MCCORMICK, DECEMBER 6, 2012

The Internal Revenue Service has recently posted final regulations on the medical device excise tax that was crafted to help offset the cost of Obamacare. As background, the federal government enacted into law a 2.3% tax on U.S. medical device... more

Emerging Market Trends: Pakistan Regulatory Overhaul BY ANDREW VAHRADIAN, NOVEMBER 29, 2012

The Pakistani government has signed legislation establishing the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, which will regulate the medical device and pharmaceutical products sold in the country. The Authority will not only issue guidelines, but also monitor enforcement of device manufacturing... more

Smart Devices Empower Patients, Simplify Care BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, AUGUST 15, 2012

Innovative prosthetic and bracing products were highlighted in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, which used Orthocare Innovations' app-controlled leg prosthesis as an example of "smart" devices that give patients a level of control previously reserved for physicians. more

HSS Named Best Hospital in Orthopedics BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JULY 23, 2012

U.S. News and World Report released their annual list of the best orthopedic hospitals last week, and, as usual, New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery topped the list. Rounding out the top five were the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins. more

"Reshoring" May Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S. BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JULY 18, 2012

A new survey conducted by an MIT professor indicated that U.S. companies may be looking to bring offshore manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. in a process known as "reshoring." According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, companies cited a number of factors in their reshoring efforts, including a desire to get products to market faster and respond rapidly to customer orders, savings from reduced transportation and warehousing, improved quality and protection of intellectual property. more

Limiting Radiation in Medical Imaging BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JULY 9, 2012

A report in the Wall Street Journal describes a three-fold increase in CT imaging between 1996 and 2010 - and with rising cancer concerns from radiation exposure during scans, physicians are looking for alternatives to higher-dose radiation delivered during CT... more

AAOS: 5% of Adults Age 50+ Had a Knee Replaced BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, FEBRUARY 14, 2012

The AAOS released data last week on the prevalence of knee replacement in the aging U.S. population. The study, based on sources ranging from census data to osteoarthritis reports, found that 4.7% of adults over 50 have undergone a total knee replacement. That's 4.5 million patients in absolute terms, and this trend appears to be increasing: the number of TKR surgeries doubled over the past decade, and younger patients represent the fastest-growing segment of the TKR population. more

New Study Links Rising Health Costs to Physician Pay BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 8, 2011

A new study, published in Health Affairs and written up in the New York Times, finds that orthopedic surgeons are paid substantially more in the U.S. than in other countries and that rising healthcare costs can be linked to physician fees. Orthopedic surgeons in the U.S. earn an average of $442,450 annually, compared to less than $210,000 in other countries. Further, both public and private pay for hip replacements is substantially higher in the U.S. than other countries. more

Global Obesity Rates Doubled Since 1980, Will Continue to Rise BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, AUGUST 30, 2011

On Friday the Lancet published a four-part series on obesity that illustrated the climbing rates of obesity around the world. Obesity, and the associated strain on the musculoskeletal system, has long been considered a driver of growth in the orthopedic space. more

Facebook Opens Comments on Device, Drug Manufacturers' Pages BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, AUGUST 17, 2011

Facebook reversed a policy this week that exempted device and drug manufacturers from opening their walls, or comment pages, on the site. Manufacturers are generally opposed to open comment pages for compliance reasons - posters can discuss adverse events or off-label uses, both of which can raise red flags for the FDA - and have spoken out against the new rule. Further, many companies are shutting down their Facebook pages. more

Robots Driving Surgical Volume BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MARCH 14, 2011

A new study found that surgical treatment for prostate cancer was higher in centers with a robot guiding the procedure. In orthopedics, new robotic technologies are striving to improve patient outcomes and address disease earlier in the continuum of care. more

For Elective Surgery, "Where You Live is What You Get" BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MARCH 3, 2011

A new report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project - an organization that studies healthcare utilization by geography - found that likelihood of Medicare patients receiving 10 surgical procedures varied by zip code. This suggests that the surgeon is the driver of whether a patient has surgery or not, and the goal of releasing this data, according to the report, is encouraging shared decision-making between physician and patient. more

X-Rays Go Mobile: FDA Clears First Radiology App BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, FEBRUARY 7, 2011

The FDA announced on Friday that they've cleared the first mobile radiology app, meaning that scans like x-rays, CTs and MRIs can now be viewed on the go. The app is called Mobile MIM, and it's available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. more

Medtech Innovation: U.S. Leads, with Emerging Markets Gaining Ground BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 18, 2011

This morning PwC released a report on the status of healthcare innovation worldwide, with the U.S. earning the top ranking, followed by Germany, the U.K., France and Japan. Catching up are China, Brazil and India, with the authors predicting that China will reach parity with the developed European nations by 2020. more

First Baby Boomers Turn 65 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 3, 2011

On January 1, the first of the Baby Boom generation turned 65, reaching Medicare eligibility and portending growth in medtech consumption. more

Zimmer Closes China Acquisition BY JOHN MCCORMICK, DECEMBER 21, 2010

This morning Zimmer announced that it has finalized its acquisition of China-based Beijing Montagne, a mainland company that develops large joint implants and instruments. more

Study: FDA Process "Unpredictable," "Characterized by Disruptions and Delays" BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, NOVEMBER 22, 2010

A new medtech survey found that compared to the U.S. regulatory process, European approvals were faster, and EU regulatory authorities received substantially higher ratings in the area of "predictability," "reasonableness" and "transparency." As for "overall experience," 75% of respondents rated their regulatory experience in the EU excellent or very good, compared to 16% for the FDA. more

DJO to Undertake $300 Million Debt Offering BY JOHN MCCORMICK, OCTOBER 5, 2010

This morning DJO Incorporated, familiar to the industry as DJ Orthopedics, announced it was going to undertake a $300 million senior subordinated note offering. Throughout the year, corporations have taken advantage of the record-low interest rate environment and have been... more

Venture Capitalists Launch Lobby for Life Science Innovation BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010

The National Venture Capital Association announced this week the launch of the Medical Innovation and Competitiveness (MedIC) Coalition, a new healthcare lobby dedicated to furthering U.S. medical innovation and "[protecting] the country's global leadership position in the life sciences industry." more

Ortho Gets a TED Talk BY JOHN MCCORMICK, JULY 26, 2010

Watching TED talks on iTunes - or an iPad for that matter - is the futurist's equivalent of a basketball fan's immersion into March Madness. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design is a non-profit organization devoted to spreading forward-thinking... more

Zimmer Expanding China Presence BY JOHN MCCORMICK, JULY 22, 2010

Zimmer's data rich earnings announcement this mornining contained an interesting nugget about their China plans. Zimmer announced that they have completed a definitive agreement to acquire Beijing Montagne Medical Device Co., Ltd. a 360-employee company that develops large joint implants... more

Medical Device Reprocessing Gaining Traction in Hospitals Nationwide BY SANDER DUNCAN, JULY 13, 2010

The emerging trend of medical device reprocessing continues to be a subject of live debate among doctors, legislators, and government and hospital administrators. The New York Times recently observed that in an effort to adopt environmentally-friendly practices while simultaneously reducing... more

Even in a Downturn, Devices are a "Strong and Vibrant" Sector of Economy BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 23, 2010

Touting the industry as a "critical" component of the U.S. economy, AdvaMed released a report on the health of the medical technology sector - demonstrating that even amid an economic slowdown, devices added jobs, grew worker pay and contributed $136... more

Tornier Files for IPO BY JOHN MCCORMICK, JUNE 8, 2010

Despite recent market turmoil, fast-growing extremities implant leader Tornier made a confident statement about its business outlook by filing for a $205 million initial public offering (IPO) yesterday. After a 16-month nuclear winter, healthcare IPOs came back with a vengeance... more

"Scorecard" for Device Markets Forthcoming from PWC BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 12, 2010

pwc.gifPricewaterhouseCoopers announced that they're working on an "independent study of international market conditions for medical device innovation" in the key markets of Brazil, China, France, Germany, Israel, India, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. PWC will score each region's device climate based on regulatory policy, patient access to technologies, demographics and "market factors." more

Musculoskeletal Industry on the Rebound in Q1 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 3, 2010

With financial results from 1Q:10 largely reported, there are signs of a rebound in the musculoskeletal industry. We estimate that the industry is growing at a rate of about 7%, accelerating from 4Q:09. With the largest shareholders reported, we estimate... more

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Names Spine, Large Joint Centers to its Blue Distinction Program BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, FEBRUARY 16, 2010

Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that they would broaden their "Blue Distinction" designation granted to high-performing hospitals to include spine and hip and knee centers. Blue Distinction hospitals have met objective, "evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality and safety" and... more

Healthcare Spending Decelerates with Recession BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 11, 2010

According to new data from HHS, Americans spent $7,681 per person on healthcare in 2008 and $2.3 trillion in total. This represents a slowdown from the prior year, with spending increasing 4.4% in 2008, down from 6% growth in 2007.... more

Ortho Products Top List of 2009 Health Innovations BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, DECEMBER 21, 2009

CNN published a list of the top 10 health innovations of 2009, and two orthopedic products made the list: a bone graft substitute made from wood and the economical Jaipur Knee. Researchers in Italy have discovered a way to convert... more

Analyst Casts Doubt on Baby Boomers' Healthcare Spend, Though Orthopedics is Singled Out for Growth BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, DECEMBER 17, 2009

Popular belief among analysts and investors is that retiring baby boomers will cause a spike in healthcare spending in the coming decade. Thomas Tobin, an analyst at Research Edge, begs to differ. Tobin's research focuses on demographics, analyzing birth and... more

JBJS: The Latest in Adult Reconstructive Knee Surgery BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, DECEMBER 11, 2009

This month JBJS published an overview from Drs. Carl Deirmengian and Jess Lonner on the latest clinical developments and trends in knee reconstruction. The paper was based on a review of new knee literature in 2008. Below is a summary... more

Survey: Medical Device Companies Positive on 2010 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, DECEMBER 8, 2009

Last month, regulatory consulting firm the Emergo Group conducted a survey of over 1,000 medical device professionals to gauge concerns about the economy. According to the results, respondents feel positively about the health of the industry going into 2010 and... more

FDA to Hold a Public Hearing on Internet, Social Media Marketing BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

The FDA has announced plans to hold a two-day public hearing this November to gain feedback on the use of the internet and social media tools to promote drugs and devices. These platforms include YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and any... more

JBJS: Orthopedics in 2020 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 10, 2009

An article in JBJS outlined the evolving need for musculoskeletal care in the coming decade, addressing changes in demographics, disease incidence, treatment modalities and delivery of orthopedic services. These factors illustrate some of the growth drivers in orthopedics and help... more

Industry Private Placements Alive and Well BY JOHN MCCORMICK, AUGUST 26, 2009

Last week's $75 million private placement in Arthrocare (ARTC.PK) was not a one off event. It was more like a sign of the times. Private placements are investments in a company where the investor is a small group of chosen... more

Mayo Clinic, Hospital for Special Surgery Top List of Best Orthopedic Hospitals BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JULY 22, 2009

U.S. News and World Report's published their annual list of the best ortho hospitals in the country this week. Below are the top ten, as determined from statistical analysis on factors including mortality rate, discharge rate and staffing, as well... more

Increased Risk of Fracture in Bariatric Surgery Patients BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 18, 2009

Study data presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting revealed an unexpected trend in patients who undergo bariatric surgery: a dramatically increased risk of fractures. In a representative sample of 97 patients, most of whom underwent a gastric banding procedure,... more

For Athletes, Stronger Knees May Leave Hips Exposed BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 11, 2009

High-profile injuries in professional athletes can draw attention to training and treatment gaps in everyday sports medicine. For example, Tiger Woods' well-publicized ACL repair may have helped encourage athletes to build leg strength to protect the knees. However, a new... more

New Studies Question Efficacy of Hip Resurfacing BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 8, 2009

The promise of hip resurfacing seems to have faded somewhat with the publication of some new studies showing that outcomes for the procedure are similar to those associated with a traditional hip replacement. Additionally, the surgery has been found to... more

A Look at the Medical Device Industry Today BY ARIELLA P. GOLOMB, MD, JUNE 3, 2009

Venture capital companies believe the dynamics and fundamentals and the medical technology industry haven't changed, even though the economic crisis is causing a revaluing of assets. Many VC-backed companies are expecting down rounds, particularly as midstage assets are revalued. These... more

Texting and Thumb Injuries BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 1, 2009

Teenagers sending and receiving an average of 80 text messages each day may be vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries of the thumb, according to the New York Times. As with Blackberry Thumb, compulsive texting can cause cramping, pain or numbness.... more

To Draw Patients, Hospitals Webcast and Twitter Surgeries BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 26, 2009

As hospitals face uphill battles on funding and reimbursement, some centers have adopted high-tech ways of reaching out to potential patients, including webcasting surgeries and twittering. In cases cited by the New York Times, Methodist University Hospital in Memphis broadcast... more

FDA to Offer $2M in Pediatric Device Grants BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 18, 2009

The FDA is offering $2.0 million in grants to support the development of medical devices for pediatric patients. The aim of the grants is to encourage devices designed specifically for the "size, growth, development and body chemistry" characteristics of pediatric... more

In a Troubled Economy, Companies Weigh the Value of Conference Attendance BY LAING RIKKERS, MAY 12, 2009

As you might expect in times of economic uncertainty, companies are taking a hard look at their expenses and questioning what is essential and what is not. One of the areas that is under the microscope is spending on conference... more

Payers, Trade Groups and Physicians Pledge to Curb Growth of Healthcare Costs BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 12, 2009

President Obama is moving ahead with U.S. healthcare reform, and yesterday he provided an overview of part of his plan with a coalition of insurers, industry groups and physicians behind him. During the 1990s, President Clinton's push for a healthcare... more

Venture Funding Sinks in Q1, Though Healthcare Fares Better than Most Sectors BY DAVID KRESSEL, APRIL 21, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reported this week on a decline in first quarter venture funding, with venture-backed companies raising only $3.9 billion, down about 50% from 1Q:09. The Journal adds that this represents the lowest quarterly disbursement by VC firms... more

Don't Let Wii Sports Put You Down for the Count BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, APRIL 21, 2009

Virtual sports are causing some very real injuries for fans of the Nintendo Wii, with physicians reporting Wii-related "sprains and strains" growing with the popularity of the gaming system. While no significant injuries have been reported (save a broken finger... more

Early Earnings Reports Show Growth Despite Economy BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, APRIL 16, 2009

DePuy and Biomet have kicked off 1Q earnings season on a positive note, offering a view of industry growth that may be outpacing expectations. These two companies, which together comprise more than a third of the ortho market, reported 7%... more

NYT: Patients Delaying Elective Surgery BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MARCH 23, 2009

The New York Times reported last week that hospitals are seeing a slowdown in elective surgery, hip and knee replacements among them, as the recession forces patients to delay procedures on account of financial concerns. These delays could subject patients... more

The FDA Continues to Become More Conservative, Despite ReGen Experience BY DAVID KRESSEL, MARCH 13, 2009

In a recent Wall Street Journal article we blogged about last week, it was alleged that ReGen Biologics was able to put extreme pressure on FDA employees to ensure their Menaflex meniscus repair device was cleared via 510(k). If these... more

Quality Concerns Color Scans BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MARCH 5, 2009

The New York Times has published a series of articles on the shortcomings of imaging, suggesting that what shows up in scan may not help a physician diagnose a patient or determine the most effective treatment plan. Now the newspaper... more

Stem Cell Summit Takeaways: Our Perspective BY JOHN MCCORMICK, FEBRUARY 19, 2009

Robin Young's Fourth Annual Stem Cell Summit was about as far removed as you could get from the grim economic headlines. Companies at the summit were presenting in the halo of a market forecast suggesting that this current $65 million... more

NASS Announces More Stringent Disclosure Policy BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 26, 2009

The North American Spine Society (NASS) adopted a new transparency policy requiring surgeons presenting at conferences to disclose both industry relationships and the dollar amount of any payments. Failure to disclose information could result in sanctions including suspension or expulsion... more

WHO Tool Helps Physicians Predict Fracture Risk BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, DECEMBER 23, 2008

In an effort to individualize treatment for patients presenting with fractured bones as well as make treatment more cost-effective, the WHO has launched a web tool to help physicians assess the likelihood of future fractures. Knowing future fracture risk can... more

South Korea Drawing Medical Tourists BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, NOVEMBER 18, 2008

While India and Singapore may be among the most common destinations for medical tourism, South Korea has been stepping up its public outreach in an effort to draw patients for orthopedic and other surgeries. The New York Times describes the... more

Greetings from Suzhou: Notes from Third International Congress of the Chinese Orthopedic Association BY JOHN MCCORMICK, NOVEMBER 17, 2008

Greetings from Suzhou! Yes that Suzhou - in China. To follow the orthopedic surgeon, China was the place to be this month. While we know this formidable nation always surpasses expectations, we were truly blown away by the Chinese Orthopedic... more

Hospitals and the Credit Markets: An Interview with Wachovia's Mike Matson BY JOHN MCCORMICK, NOVEMBER 5, 2008

Earlier this week we interviewed Wachovia's industrious medical technology and device analyst Mike Matson to revisit his thoughts on how the credit market dislocations are affecting hospital capital spending decisions. McCormick: Mike, thank you for joining us especially with all... more

Musculoskeletal Stocks Outperforming Broader Markets During Financial Crisis BY MATT LOESCH, OCTOBER 6, 2008

Musculoskeletal stocks have performed relatively well year to date only down 14% compared to the S&P 500, which is down 25%. Despite financial uncertainty roiling the market on what seems like a daily basis, musculoskeletal stocks have displayed resiliency to... more

Orthopedic Venture Capital Down but not Out BY JOHN MCCORMICK, OCTOBER 2, 2008

What do the severe dislocations seen in the credit markets mean for the orthopedic device startup looking for venture capital? Duly noting we are not a venture capital firm (we perform buyouts), our observation from afar is that the venture... more

The End of an Era on Wall Street BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 22, 2008

The market turmoil that started last week with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch and AIG's need for a cash infusion culminated with the government's $700 billion market bailout plan and the end of the traditional... more

As Tensions Mount on Wall Street, Orthopedics Offers Stability BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 15, 2008

A handful of big headlines rocked the financial sector this weekend, sending the S&P 500 down 3% at midday and compounding months of write-offs, bailouts and mergers that created a cloud of decline within the banking industry. To recap, Lehman... more

Medical Tourism at Home: U.S. Hospitals Competing with Foreign Pricing BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, SEPTEMBER 10, 2008

The Wall Street Journal this morning revealed a new variation on medical tourism: patients are traveling for medical procedures, though not overseas. Medical tourism arose from skyrocketing U.S. healthcare costs; a hip replacement can cost $43,000 domestically and a mere... more

DOJ Settlement Echoes in Reduced Industry Research Funding BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, AUGUST 4, 2008

Orthopedics Today is reporting that following the DOJ investigation, research institutions are seeing a slowdown in industry funding (with one unnamed Big-Five company withdrawing "nearly all" of its funding) that could decline even further in 2009. This reduction in funding... more

NY Times Calls for National Joint Registry BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JULY 29, 2008

Following Zimmer's announcement that the company would suspend sales of the Durom acetabular cup, the New York Times suggested this morning that the concerns about Durom could've been identified sooner if the U.S. had a national joint registry in place.... more

Study Finds Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Worthwhile for the Elderly BY HAL BRIGHAM, JULY 21, 2008

A study published in the July 14, 2008 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine contends that hip and knee arthroplasty surgeries may be more beneficial to elderly patients than once believed. The study reports that surgery is not only more... more

U.S. News and World Report Names 10 Best Ortho Hospitals BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JULY 14, 2008

Hospital for Special Surgery topped U.S. News and World Report's list of the best ortho hospitals in the country, boasting the most discharges of any orthopedic hospital, a large nursing staff and advanced technologies. A low mortality index (0.14), status... more

Summer Safer for Sports Injuries BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JULY 10, 2008

If you like to swim, hike or fish, summer is the season. And now the CDC has even more good news about these fun outdoor activities: you're probably not going to get hurt doing them. Summer sports are among the... more

In3 on the State of the Medical Device Industry BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 24, 2008

China was a hot topic at the In3 Medical Device Summit, but one event focused on the device industry more broadly: where devices have been and where they're heading. The presentation, led by David Cassak of Windhover Information, described the... more

China Aims to Smooth the Way for International Investors BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 23, 2008

Last week's In3 Medical Device Industry Summit featured a talk on opportunities for device manufacturers in China, and we came away with a sense for the country's efforts to step up regulatory and legal practices to better reflect U.S. and... more

Despite the Hype, Few Go Abroad for Medical Care BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 19, 2008

Anecdotal accounts of medical tourism often describe significant cost savings and suggest that the volume of patients who seek care overseas is climbing rapidly. Over the past few years, medical tourism has been depicted as a fast-growing trend to keep... more

Study Forecasts Strong Growth in Public Spending as Boomers Join Medicare BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 5, 2008

Health Affairs recently reported on health spending projections through 2017, and the next decade is characterized by steady growth and a particular strength in public spending as baby boomers begin to enroll in Medicare. Health spending is reported to have... more

Human Factors Engineering: Accounting for "Use Error" in Medical Devices BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, OCTOBER 1, 2007

Medical devices rely on proper use to be "safe and effective," which is why FDA has in recent years encouraged devicemakers to incorporate human factors engineering into their development processes. What is human factors engineering (or HFE)? FDA defines the... more

Army Advancing Prosthetics BY DAVID KRESSEL, SEPTEMBER 7, 2007

At the confluence of war and improved medical care sit the 130 U.S. veterans of the current war in Iraq who have had an arm amputated. Advances in battlefield medical care have allowed soldiers who would have died in combat... more

An Ortho Stock Index Now Trading BY JOHN MCCORMICK, JULY 23, 2007

Every so often we get the question at the trade shows - how do I buy all of the ortho stocks at once? In the past, our only answer was you had to buy representative shares of every ortho stock... more

Upcoming Patent Reform Changes BY ED ROSS, JULY 3, 2007

The Patent Reform Act of 2007 has faced heavy opposition since its introduction in the House in April, notably from the MDMA and other industry groups. These organizations believe the proposed revisions to U.S. patent law would "undermine the value... more

FDA Preps for Unique Device IDs BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JUNE 6, 2007

At MDMA's annual meeting, CDRH's Director of the Office of Science and Engineering, Dr. Larry Kessler, discussed FDA's goals for unique device identification and a multi-phase plan for establishing and implementing a UDI system. The talk followed bipartisan support for... more

Studies with Commercial Funding, U.S. Authors More Likely to be Published BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 16, 2007

In what may be the first study to evaluate peer-review bias in orthopedics based on submitted, rather than published, studies, Joseph Lynch et al consider associations between scientific and nonscientific variables and outcome as well as acceptance for publication. Lynch... more

Fine-Tuning Computer-Assisted Orthopedic Surgery BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MAY 8, 2007

The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced an initiative last week to improve the precision and reliability of computer-assisted orthopedic surgery (CAOS) instruments in hip replacement surgery. NIST researchers have built a "phantom" hip that can be used by... more

Market Trends From NYTimes Hip Resurfacing Article BY ARIELLA P. GOLOMB, MD, APRIL 17, 2007

Hailing hip replacement as one of the "great success stories of modern medicine," the New York Times published an article on Saturday emphasing the benefits of hip resurfacing as an interim step before traditional total hip replacement. There are a... more

Orthopedic News Roundup 29-Mar-07 BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MARCH 29, 2007

Earnings BioMimetic Therapeutics announced 4Q:06 financial results, reporting a net loss of $5.3 million or $0.34 per share and beating analysts' estimates of a loss of $0.37 per share. This compares to a net loss of $9.2 million, or $5.82... more

Cleveland Clinic Spins Off Companies Founded on New Technology BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MARCH 13, 2007

Most scientists, says a recent article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, don't know how to create a product or a business to produce it. Technology transfers can help, and one particularly active program is based in the Cleveland Clinic. To... more

WSJ: Orthopedics a "Hip Bet" BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, MARCH 6, 2007

Today's Wall Street Journal features an article on growth in the orthopedic market. Journalist Karen Richardson indicates that innovative, long-lasting and high-margin products are driving investment opportunities. An aging population and increased life expectancy bode well for manufacturers like Stryker... more

New Intellidrug Device Delivers Medication Through Teeth BY ARMELLE WIART, FEBRUARY 28, 2007

A team of European researchers has developed an innovative new method of drug delivery - the teeth. Intellidrug is a dental prosthesis fitted into two artificial molars, and it automatically releases a precise dosage of medicine on a continuous basis.... more

Pay for Performance at a "Tipping Point;" CMS to Develop P4P Initiative BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, FEBRUARY 7, 2007

This week's New England Journal of Medicine features an editorial on pay per performance, wherein Arnold M. Epstein argues that P4P has reached a tipping point. Epstein describes the progressive changes as various organizations move toward P4P, at the same... more

Technology Transfers Bring "Bench to Bedside" - But Do Companies Want In? BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 29, 2007

Last week, Akron General Medical Center announced a technology transfer initiative designed to bring product development into the hospital - and, ideally, open the region to new medtech development and investment opportunities. The nonprofit hospital's new Technology Transfer, Commercialization and... more

New NJ Bill would Require Patient Consent for Reprocessed Devices BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 28, 2007

A new bill was introduced in the New Jersey state legislature earlier this month that would allow patients to decide if they want to receive a reprocessed medical device. A similar bill was introduced in Massachusetts last year, but it... more

Muscle and Bone, Fresh from the Printer BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 16, 2007

MIT's Technology Review reported recently on a new development out of Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh: a custom ink-jet printer that can print tissue using stem cells from mice and growth factor. This is how the Carnegie Mellon/University... more

Arthritis Costs on the Rise BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 12, 2007

As reported in the Wall Street Journal this morning, costs relating to arthritis are growing - and this trend is expected to continue, spurned by an aging population and the obesity epidemic. In 2003, arthritis and related conditions cost the... more

JBJS Reaches Out to Patients BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, JANUARY 9, 2007

An annoucement from a top orthopedics journal encourages the industry to consider how research is used by those who aren't physicians. JBJS announced on January 1st that they were initiating a new program of patient access to journal content: patients... more

Israel As a Source of Life Science Innovation BY ARIELLA P. GOLOMB, MD, JANUARY 3, 2007

Kyphon's pending acquisition of Israeli-based Disc-O-Tech's Assets for $240 million is only a part of the dollar volume of Israeli technology M&A activity in 2006. The Israeli Venture Capital Research Center reported that in 2006, 76 M&A technology deals involving... more

Making RFID Safe, Practical for Healthcare BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, DECEMBER 20, 2006

Controversial RFID (radio frequency identification) technology can be used to track everything from traffic patterns to pets, but it's healthcare applications that are drawing a lot of attention, particularly as companies try to develop safe, secure RFID tags for medical... more

Intial SPORT Trial Outcomes Subject to Interpretation, but Tend to Favor Surgery BY JOHN MCCORMICK, NOVEMBER 22, 2006

The first arm of the Spine Patients Outcome Research Trial ("SPORT") study was released by the Journal of the American Medical Association yesterday. The $13.5 million NIH funded SPORT study has been designed to determine the efficacy of spine surgery... more

Pursuing Orthopedic Indications for Already-Marketed Pharmaceuticals BY ARIELLA P. GOLOMB, MD, NOVEMBER 15, 2006

There is a pattern worth recognizing in the orthopedics industry - companies are taking drugs already on the market and exploring new indications, specifically for orthopedic related applications. From a safety perspective, this model makes a lot of sense -... more

Evolving Devices for the High-Tech OR BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, NOVEMBER 15, 2006

Furthering the trend of the interoperability of medical devices (emphasized at last week's MDMA meeting) is a pilot program headed by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology. The program features the use of... more

The Cleveland Clinic Discusses Innovation BY JOHN MCCORMICK, NOVEMBER 9, 2006

This week we attended the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit where industry luminaries gathered to discuss the future of medicine. The predominant themes were economics and advanced neurosciences. Notably, the ultimate form of evidence based medicine was highlighted: an elated... more

New Technology May Revolutionize Device Development BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, NOVEMBER 2, 2006

With limitations of time and money, designing a "perfect" medical device may be an unattainable goal. Practical limitations prompt designers stop at adequate designs lacking forseeable flaws - but new technology can give designers more freedom to test and develop... more

Drug Trials Move to India, and Devices Are Next BY LAUREN UZDIENSKI, NOVEMBER 1, 2006

U.S. devicemakers face challenges in designing clinical trials, among them low recruitment rates and high costs. India may have the answer. Among the benefits, Pacific Bridge Medical reports in their November 2006 newsletter that cost savings can reach 40 to... more

Hip Chip to Monitor Osseointegration BY ARIELLA P. GOLOMB, MD, OCTOBER 23, 2006

The University of Alberta, Canada announced the development of a microsensor geared towards hip replacements that wirelessly monitors an implant's osseointegration. Built using nanotechnology, the device will be powered kinetically through the natural movement of the patient's body and remain... more

Medical Centers Continue to Limit Gifts to Physicians BY ARIELLA P. GOLOMB, MD, SEPTEMBER 12, 2006

Today's New York Times reported that Stanford University has followed the University of Pennsylvania and Yale by putting in place a new policy that would prohibit its physicians from accepting small gifts (like pens and mugs) and free drug samples... more

Group Purchasing Organizations and Market Reform: What's Ahead for Device Companies? BY EDITOR, SEPTEMBER 5, 2006

February 2010 update: This report is no longer available for purchase. Learn more here.     Fact: GPO-negotiated contacts drive more than $100 billion in device purchases by hospitals.     News Item: The DOJ, the Connecticut Attorney General, three U.S. Senators, and the... more

Orthopedic Industry's Q2 Results BY HUYEN NGUYEN, AUGUST 17, 2006

Twenty-six publicly traded orthopedic companies that we tracked during the March 1, 2006 to June 30, 2006 quarter* posted an aggregate 10% growth (as reported) for both top and bottom line. These companies took in a total $6.5 billion in... more

US Spine Enters Into GPO Agreement BY ARIELLA P. GOLOMB, MD, AUGUST 9, 2006

Group Purchasing Organizations have historically been responsible for purchases surrounding low preference commodity products such as bed linens and gloves. Over time GPOs have been migrating to higher physician preference items. Today's announcement by US Spine that they have entered... more

Health Care IT: Will The Potential Be Realized? BY NICK ADAM, JULY 26, 2006

Investments in health information technology (HIT) are slowly growing as hospitals, spurred on by the possibility of cost and quality of care benefits, increasingly incorporate HIT into daily use. HIT may very well come to play a large role in... more

Medical Device Reprocessing Debate BY NICK ADAM, JULY 12, 2006

Recently, the debate between Third-Party Reprocessors (TPRs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) has spread to the legislature of the state of Massachusetts. A proposed bill, Senate No. 2433, would require: -A patient to provide written consent prior to undergoing a... more

Has the Total Hip Market Slowed? What are the Drivers Looking Ahead? BY JOHN CHOPACK, JUNE 1, 2006

There has been a significant amount of discussion by Wall Street analysts regarding a slowdown in the total hip arthroplasty market. While we agree that there has been a slowdown, we believe it is more moderate than the rest of... more

Fewer Deaths: Good for Orthopedics BY JOHN MCCORMICK, APRIL 19, 2006

Today, the National Center for Health Statistics issued a draft finding that the annual number of deaths in the U.S. dropped by nearly 50,000, or 2%, in 2004 which represents the biggest decline since World War II. The preliminary number... more

2006 Orthopedic Industry Forecast - Strong Growth to Continue BY EDITOR, MARCH 21, 2006

Our current forecast for the orthopedic industry projects continued long term growth of 15%. For 2006, we expect growth to be slightly below this trend, at 12%. Despite continued strength in other segments of the industry, hip and knee reconstruction... more

Marketing at Academic Medical Centers under Attack BY LAING RIKKERS, FEBRUARY 2, 2006

Doctors pushed back against marketing and commercial pressures from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries last week. On January 25, the American Medical Association (JAMA) published "Health Industry Practices That Create Conflicts of Interest: A Policy Proposal for Academic Medical... more

SpineMark Closes $10m BY HUYEN NGUYEN, DECEMBER 14, 2005

SpineMark is an operator of clinical and research-oriented spine centers, founded in 2004 as a joint venture between TBI Holdings (the management company of Texas Back Institute) and Management Technology Resources. The Company announced a closing of the first $10... more

Orthopedic Stocks Decline: Our Thoughts BY JOHN CHOPACK, SEPTEMBER 30, 2005

The decline in the valuations of the orthopedic stock prices has reached epic proportions. The 7 leading orthopedic companies which derive a majority of their revenues from hip and knee sales are on average 30% off their 52-Week Highs. Biomet... more

Privatization of Healthcare in the United States? BY JOHN CHOPACK, AUGUST 31, 2005

There is no denying that healthcare costs continue to accelerate in the U.S. We would argue most of these costs are justified given the continuing technological advancements made within the entire healthcare arena including medical devices and biotechnology. However, we... more

Medical Tourism and Orthopedics BY SHELLY ACHAIBAR, AUGUST 5, 2005

More and more western patients seeking surgery are looking towards eastern destinations such as India, Thailand and Singapore for their medical needs, including orthopedic procedures. The healthcare sector in this region has become a flourishing industry. As patients from Europe,... more

Surgeon Owned Distributorships BY RICHARD ZALL, JULY 28, 2005

[Editor's note: We welcome attorney Richard Zall of Mintz, Levin as a guest blogger to answer a question posed by a reader in response to Joane Goodroe's Gainsharing post earlier this week. See Zall's profile here.] Interested in your thoughts... more

Orthopedic Value Proposition | EDITORIAL | BY JOHN MCCORMICK, MAY 16, 2005

There are numerous pathways to creating value in orthopedics. There are typically three classifications of companies within the orthopedic community: 1) technology companies 2) original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and 3) distribution companies. Technology Companies. A technology company is typically an... more

VIOXX Wars Good News for Large Joint Reconstruction Market BY ROBIN R. YOUNG CFA, NOVEMBER 29, 2004

The lawyer's ads are all over the country and all over the two broadest media outlets we know - television and the internet. "Learn about Vioxx, the Vioxx recall and potential health risks!" "Are you a Vioxx Patient? Find out... more

The 3Q:04 Earnings Season is Half-way Completed for Large Joint Manufacturers: Any Trends? BY JOHN CHOPACK, OCTOBER 25, 2004

Three of the seven leading large joint orthopedic manufacturers have reported their 3Q:04 financials. So far, market growth rates on a constant currency basis remain in-line with the growth rates reported by industry leaders DePuy, Biomet and Stryker in the... more

Is the IPO Market Back? BY ROBIN R. YOUNG CFA, JANUARY 12, 2004

Capital markets aren't rational. Otherwise, they'd have longer memories. A year ago, when Zimmer was trading at $40.01, DJ Orthopedics was at $3.66, Encore was at $3.20 and LifeCell was at $2.89, you couldn't buy an orthopedic or medical device... more

2004 Orthopedic Industry Outlook: 15% revenue growth to $20 billion BY EDITOR, DECEMBER 15, 2003

For the past three weeks the HealthpointCapital research staff has been preparing a detailed outlook for the Orthopedic Industry with special emphasis on Large Joint Reconstruction, Spinal Implants, Sports Medicine (including bracing) and Biologics. The result is our outlook for... more


I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it. Seriously, NO trend in surgical medicine has been stronger than MIS. Twenty years ago balloon angioplasty – despite a nearly 80% failure rate –... more

What is your business? BY EDITOR, DECEMBER 1, 2003

Peter Drucker asked that question fifty years ago in his seminal book The Practice of Management. While his generic answer (“the only function of a business is to create customer value and to innovate.”) remains as valuable in 2004 as... more

The Krispy Kanary in the Orthopedic Mine is singing BY EDITOR, NOVEMBER 24, 2003

Like much of orthopedics, Krispy Kreme sells a lifestyle product. And the basic emotion encompassed in that product is comfort. For eighty five cents, Krispy Kreme delivers a nearly perfect, melt in your month donut and, with that, a happy,... more

Orthopedics Growing 2.5x Faster than U.S. GDP BY EDITOR, NOVEMBER 3, 2003

For the third quarter, with three more companies yet to report, public orthopedic companies have reported that their sales grew 17.5% on a year-over-year basis. To put that into perspective, U.S. GDP grew at a 7.2% annual rate in the... more

Orthopedic Agonistes BY EDITOR, SEPTEMBER 29, 2003

Orthopedics, the self-made industry, is troubled and struggling. At least that was the tone at last week's OrthoKnow Symposium (one of the best of such industry gatherings) as distributors and their fellow travelers gathered to discuss the state of orthopedics.... more

Venture Capital "tone" dramatically positive BY EDITOR, SEPTEMBER 29, 2003

Dave Stassen, legendary medical device venture capitalist and principal at the $3 billion St. Paul Ventures in Minnesota is calling a turn in medical device venture investment. In his talk at the OrthoKnow symposium last week, Stassen recounted the recent... more

Of Zoomers, Boomers and Macaroomers BY EDITOR, SEPTEMBER 29, 2003

The data we see coming from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) tells us that the large joint reconstruction market is being driven by people born before 1944. Not Boomers. Not Zoomers – whatever they are – or any... more

Public Orthopedic Revenues Jump 18% in First Half of 2003 – A New Record BY EDITOR, SEPTEMBER 2, 2003

We told you so. We said orthopedic industry revenues were accelerating. We just didn't predict that they'd be this strong. We were thinking 16%. Now that the last conference call of the second quarter is over, we've added up all... more

It's going to be a great Quarter, Year and Decade BY EDITOR, JULY 14, 2003

Despite being asked by the Merrill analyst to comment on the prospects for the Next Gen product (manufactured by Zimmer... oops, she meant Next Generation), Biomet's CEO, Dane Miller, was his usual wry self as he announced that overall sales... more

Genzyme proves the old adage, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished BY EDITOR, MAY 12, 2003

Everywhere we look we see victims. Shareholders want management's head on a platter. Management sincerely tried to do the right thing and - in terms of its effect on future operations - we think made the right decision. But, talk... more

Rumors of the death of Product Mix price increases greatly exaggerated BY EDITOR, APRIL 21, 2003

Exhibit A: Stryker Exhibit B: Interpore Cross Not to pick on Merrill Lynch... but, and we quote, "Product mix benefit may slow a tad... we suspect this mix benefit has been largely realized." Cementless hip stems, metal on metal components... more

Who is listening to those earnings calls? BY EDITOR, APRIL 14, 2003

Earnings season starts this week with the Tuesday, April 15th release of DePuy/Acromed's first quarter results (as buried in JNJ's release) and continues until mid-May when Sofamor Danek's numbers for the April quarter (Medtronic, Sofamor Danek's parent, is on an... more

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