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OEM moves into reprocessing

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Orthopedic firm Synthes is offering hospitals the option to reprocess used external fixation devices as part of a new reprocessing program. The U.S. division of the Swiss firm is reprocessing over a dozen of its fixation devices, including single-use devices such as its "combination clamp"and "tube to tube clamps," according to a marketing document. Dan Vukelich of the Association for Medical Device Reprocessors says that the fact that an original manufacturer is reprocessing single-use devices is an "implicit acknowledgement that reprocessing is here to stay because it allows hospitals to achieve substantial savings without sacrificing the quality of the care they deliver." Orthopedic makers such as Smith & Nephew have lobbied for stringent regulation of reprocessing on the grounds that reprocessed single-use devices pose a risk to patients (1"The Gray Sheet" Oct. 24, 2005, p. 27)...

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