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This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

DUPONT DISCONTINUING SALE OF RAW MATERIALS TO MAKERS OF PERMANENT IMPLANTS, the firm says in a Jan. 15 letter to its customers. "As of Jan. 15, 1993, DuPont will begin to phase out sale of materials to customers using our materials in medical articles intended for permanent implantation in the human body or in permanent contact with internal body fluids or tissues," the letter states. The firm intends to "complete the phase out as soon as possible, but no later than Jan. 31, 1994." The company explains in the letter that "unpredictable and excessive costs of doing business with the manufacturers of implantable medical devices no longer justifies unrestricted sale of standard raw materials." DuPont says it will continue to honor its existing supplier agreements during the phase out period in order to allow customers affected by the announcement time to find alternate suppliers of the materials, "or alternate materials." In addition, the letter notes that DuPont will "restrict sales of materials to companies who use those materials in medical articles intended for brief or temporary implantation in the human body or in contact with internal body fluids or tissues." DuPont defines a temporary implant as remaining in the body less than 30 days. The letter says that the firm will not supply materials to temporary implant manufacturers "unless the material comes directly from DuPont under a contract which expressly acknowledges the contemplated use and contains specific business risk management requirements." Manufacturers impacted by the policy are asked to contact DuPont by March 1. The firm adds that "it is DuPont's intention to implement this policy in such a way that it does not cause negative economic or safety effects in the health industry, which provides essential benefits to people." Among the numerous raw materials supplied by DuPont is Teflon, which is used in a number of medical devices.

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