Category Archives: Commodities

Single Use Devices (SUDs) –Sustainability and Cost Savings Creating Perfect Storm For Demand Growth

The size of the medical disposables market is massive and still growing. According to a recent report by Freedonia Market Research Group, “US demand for disposable medical supplies is forecast to increase 4.3 percent annually to $46.7 billion in 2016.” From general surgical tools to the most commonly used in specialized orthopedic and arthroscopic applications, single use devices (SUDs) have found their rhythm under the cover of “sustainability,” of all things. And because it’s now fashionable to make a case for change on the basis of cost savings –if nothing else– the SUD manufacturers are experiencing a perfect storm in customer [...]

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Contract Manufacturers Riding a Wave of Demand for More Personalized Medical Devices

Long recipients of the iconic stiff arm –or did I mean to say “ironic”– contract manufacturers have clearly found their rhythm in the medical device marketplace. Why ironic? Because branded manufacturers in highly regulated markets, like medical devices, have been slow to embrace contract manufacturing options, fearing quality-related liabilities and diminished production/capacity flexibilities –the very benefits that turn out to be the basic tenets of the contract manufacturer’s value prop. To be considered competitive these days, contract manufacturers must be turnkey solution providers –from design services thru manufacturing to reverse logistics.  And for contract manufacturers wanting to play in the [...]

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Vendormate: From Vendor Credentialing to Procurement Cycle Management

Vendormate is known for pioneering vendor credentialing in hospitals across the U.S. Its Credential Manager solution enables healthcare organizations and suppliers to meet industry regulations that improve patient safety. Because healthcare leaders are realizing that Vendormate’s solutions go well beyond credentialing and are positively impacting larger-scale challenges related to their procurement cycle management process, the company has announced its release of a new platform. Vendormate’s Procurement Cycle Management platform helps healthcare organizations address these specific supply chain challenges: Managing vendor company-level data for onboarding and purchase-to-payment controls Sourcing diversity/other-qualified healthcare suppliers and streamlining the RFI process Managing contract tasks – creating, approving, managing and evaluating performance [...]

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Truth and Consequences: The Nation’s Saline Shortage

I got a call from a friend the other day goading me to write something about “our national saline shortage.” No, it isn’t just me who finds the idea of a salt water shortage a bit odd. C’mon a saline shortage? Actually, it’s totally preposterous. Something else is going on. Let’s face it, normal saline is a mainstay. It’s like oxygen in healthcare, except we probably use more of it.  So I decided to don my investigative hat and get to the bottom of this –our latest national emergency. Like most detectives, I started by trying to validate the most popular theory. [...]

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CMS’s Competitive Bidding Program –More Screwed Up than Healthcare.gov

Late last week, the Senate Finance Committee marked up a sustainable growth rate (SGR) reform bill that included an amendment designed to fix significant problems with Medicare’s bidding procurement program for home medical equipment (HME), says the American Association for Homecare –an organization that has been lobbying against the competitive bidding program instituted by CMS.  The amendment to the bill, also known as the “doc fix,” was offered and supported by a bi-partisan group of four Senators including Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). “I was able to work with several of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle today [...]

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Drug Shortages –A Manufactured Problem or a Manufacturing Problem?

Not too long ago, I did a post about Physicians Against Drug Shortages (PADS), a relatively new group organized to blame GPOs for drug shortages. I put it that way because these docs just don’t like GPOs. In fact, they are calling for the federal government to repeal the industry’s anti-kickback safe harbor provision. “We are convinced that the anticompetitive contracting and pricing practices, kickbacks and self-dealing of hospital GPOs are the root cause of this public health emergency,” said anesthesiologist Robert A. Campbell, MD, co-chair of PADS. “We’re launching a national campaign to build public awareness of these anticompetitive [...]

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Definition of “Purpose-Built Company” Evolving –Water Street Healthcare Partners Provides Smart Money Example

Investment bankers seem to be getting smarter, especially those focused on the seed capital needs of early stage companies. No longer content to hit .05 (one in twenty), you’re starting to hear the phrase “purpose-built” bandied about. What is a purpose-built company? The traditional definition talks about the decided advantage and enduring success that companies who remain true to their core values and purpose tend to have over those that don’t. Naturally, these companies learn how to adapt their strategies and tactics to a changing world, but they don’t abandon their core purpose and the values that got them there [...]

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McKesson Adds “Supply Formulary Analytics” to its Sourcing Suite

McKesson recently announced an enhancement to its cloud-based sourcing solution. Being billed as a “first,” this latest improvement to McKesson’s Strategic Supply Sourcing suite, called Insight, provides real time visibility into what McKesson refers to as its “supply formulary.” The Insight solution takes McKesson’s current solution’s ability to identify substitutes a big step forward by using artificial intelligence to present comparison data on vendors, product families and cost centers so that savings opportunities can be better promoted and “leakage” can be highlighted when it’s happening  –when requisitions are being made. Call it “supply formulary analytics.” “Insight will enable us to [...]

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Premier Selects Kimberly-Clark For National Operational Excellence Award

Yesterday, Kimberly-Clark announced that it is a winner of the eighth annual Performance Award, presented by the Premier healthcare alliance. Premier contracts with more than 1,000 suppliers and Kimberly-Clark is one of just 29 to receive its Performance Award this year, for the fifth time (performance data is collected over 4 consecutive quarters). Winners are recognized for their outstanding management of Premier agreements and their drive toward providing clinical and financial value to Premier members. “We are honored to be recognized once again as a top performer by Premier and selected for this prestigious award,” said Joanne Bauer, President, Kimberly-Clark Health [...]

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US Pharma Spending Declines for First Time in 60 years

Despite the fact that overall healthcare spending (direct and indirect costs, revenues), are at all time highs, U.S. spending on pharmaceuticals is reaching an all time low –if you are willing to count the last 60 years an adequate measuring stick. It’s simple: the market’s acceptance of widely used, inexpensive, generic substitutes has succeeded in driving the decline. And the generic manufacturing industries’ adept maneuvering –when a big drug hits its patent cliff— is darn near optimized.  Not only do employers and insurers “get it,” but according to lots of related survey data, consumers understand the drill too. “The largest [...]

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Latest Stryker Recalls Based on Failure to Secure 510Ks?

Stryker said it received a warning letter from the U.S. FDA related to quality concerns at its Portage, Michigan facility. Among other things, the letter says that Stryker failed to notify the FDA of a product recall related to a system (The Neptune Waste Management System) that Stryker had taken to market without the proper 510K registration and that it now must oblige its customers to return. Is Jeff Spicoli in charge here? The Neptune Waste Management System is intended to collect and dispose of surgical fluid waste in operating rooms and surgical facilities. The Neptune 2 Ultra can also [...]

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ViiV Healthcare, Medicines Patent Pool — Big Pharma Can’t Buy Better Public Relations

GlaxoSmithKline’s HIV/AIDS drugs business is demonstrating some nice character. Their words and actions support a design to share intellectual property rights on children’s medicine in a patent pool designed to make treatments more widely available in poor countries. ViiV Healthcare, majority-owned by GSK, is the second research-based pharmaceutical business to sign up to the new Medicines Patent Pool, following a lead set in 2011 by Gilead Sciences. The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), launched in 2010 by the UNITAID health financing system that is funded by a levy on airline tickets, aims to address the remaining gap by getting patent holders [...]

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Mile High Market Now Open to “Pot Tourists”

Medbox announced that its patented dispensing technology will be crucial to implementing the Colorado marijuana task forces’s recommendations regarding “pot tourism.”  Late last week, the task force recommended that marijuana be made available to tourists over the age of 21, although in stricter quantities than will be made available to in-state residents. Representative Dan Pabon (D), who sits on the task force, argued that “…imposing a residency requirement would almost certainly create a black market for recreational marijuana [in Colorado],” which is precisely what supporters of Amendment 64 are aiming to eradicate. In order to prevent drug traffickers from exploiting [...]

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Improving Patient Experience –-Keep It Simple!

I enjoy providing what little visibility I can to good ideas. And aren’t the best ones usually the most simple? Hospitals have discovered a simple way to improve the patient experience through a simple, yet critical solution – mobile device charging. These charging stations, which are ususally being made available free to use and include charging cables for virtually any phone, tablet, music player, etc., are being aggressively marketed by a firm called goCharge. goCharge offers a comprehensive line up of floor and tabletop charge-station models that can be branded, fitted for payment options or can be free, which is [...]

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NECC’s Demise: A Tragedy of “Failed Organizational Ethics”

It’s been three months since the deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis began. And yesterday, the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the  compounding pharmacy that produced the contaminated medicines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It’s highly doubtful that NECC has enough assets to adequately compensate its victims, including the thousands of people who were exposed, the 620 who fell ill, and the 39 who died, but one thing is for sure, the lawyers will be turning over a lot of rocks in their quest for settlement money. For example and according to Alyson Oliver, a Michigan attorney representing victims, the fatal [...]

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Vendormate’s Medzo Out of the Gates and Enjoying Early Adoption Success

A few months back, we reported that Vendormate, long known as a leader in the healthcare vendor credentialing space, released an online utility that connects providers to a wider array of qualified vendors with far greater precision than traditional supply networks. As we said, although the new service, called Medzo, sounds a lot like another searchable supplier database, that characterization just doesn’t do it justice. It can’t, because it ignores all the uniquely valuable data Vendormate was able to leverage when developing the new service. The early adopters are embracing Medzo for everything from basic medical supplies to innovative physician [...]

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