New Ethicon suture said to trim per-procedure costs

New Ethicon suture said to trim per-procedure costs – Ethicon Inc

A new synthetic absorbable suture that has the potential for reducing per-procedure cost for providers has been introduced by Ethicon Inc., Somerville, N.J., into a market that the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary already dominates. The new suture line was given FDA clearance to market in January, and the product was ultimately released in late April.

An Ethicon marketing spokesperson said the coated VICRYL RAPIDE[TM] (polyglactin 910) suture is ideal for superficial closure of skin and mucosa because of its rapid absorption rate, which means patients usually don’t need to return to care sites for suture removal. That results in reduced physician office time, virtually eliminating costs for follow-up procedures.

The company said it is targeting the suture for niche markets like obstetrics (episiotomy wound healing), minor pediatric surgery where trauma and anxiety can be reduced, as well as plastic surgery procedures on the scalp where it is difficult to remove sutures camouflaged by hair. Emergency rooms and outpatient clinics also fall into Ethicon’s target market, since patients seen in those settings are unlikely to need follow-up.

Ethicon estimates the overall suture market at about $600 million, and would only concede that its share of that market is “significant.” Ethicon’s prime competitors include American Cyanamid’s Davis & Geck Division, Wayne, N.J., and United States Surgical Corp., Norwalk, Conn.

The niche market for the new suture line comprises about 8 million procedures annually. The company would not disclose projected sales for the new suture, but said it has no significant competition in this market segment.

The new suture will be marketed in a variety of ways, including the company’s typically wide range of journal advertising, direct mail, trade shows, and Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson’s sales reps.

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