Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vascular Closure Devices’ Sharp Rise in Unit Sales Drives the Overall U.S. Peripheral Vascular Device Market

Vascular closure devices, which include both invasive and non-invasive products, are rapidly being adopted by the medical community. The market for VCDs is expected to exhibit strong growth through to 2016, thus driving the total U.S. market for peripheral vascular devices.

Vascular Closure Devices

VCDs are used in both coronary and peripheral vascular procedures, particularly if a catheter is used during an endovascular treatment. The traditional method for achieving vascular closure is manual compression, where a healthcare worker applies pressure to the site in order to achieve hemostasis. However, manual compression is not only time consuming for healthcare employees, but also requires the patient to remain immobile for an extended period of time.

With the rise of for-profit medical centers and a shortage of available nursing labor, the medical industry has sought a safe and effective alternative to manual compression. Since VCDs were approved for use in the U.S. in the 1990s, two types of devices have been developed: invasive and non-invasive. Invasive VCDs are used percutaneously and achieve hemostasis through the use of sealants, sutures or specialized sponges, while non-invasive VCDs involve the use of a compression pad or inflatable bulb at the surface of the site to mimic the effects of manual compression. In 2009, invasive VCDs represented 85.5% of the total VCD market revenues, while non-invasive devices comprised the remaining 14.2%. While the use of both types of VCDs is expected to rise, growth in non-invasive devices will outpace, but not overtake, invasive devices by 2016.

VCDs Are Cost-Effective and Time-Efficient

VCDs offer healthcare facilities a cost-effective option for vascular closure. While price was a limiter when the devices were launched, the average selling price of the devices has decreased dramatically in recent years, and will continue to decline. Furthermore,
non-invasive VCDs are, on average, four times less expensive than their invasive counterparts, boosting their popularity.

With the general shortage of nursing labor, many hospitals are finding it cost-effective and time-efficient to employ VCDs. Non-invasive VCDs remove the need for manual pressure by a healthcare worker and therefore also lessens labor costs. In addition, the use of invasive VCDs further reduces the time necessary to perform vascular closure. Interventional cardiologists are performing peripheral procedures at an increasing rate and are opting to use VCDs in order to reduce operation times and thereby maximize the number of procedures that can be performed per day. Furthermore, the use of VCDs has the potential to allow more procedures to be performed in outpatient settings, significantly increasing patient turnaround times and decreasing costs. The cost savings and reduced times will continue to encourage healthcare facilities to adopt VCDs, especially as hospital budgets become more constrained.

Device Improvements

The relative complexity of VCDs, particularly invasive products, was initially the source of complications due to improper use. However, VCDs have gone through many design configurations since their introduction and different closure methods have been developed. Abbott Laboratories’ StarClose™ and Perclose® invasive VCDs have reduced rates of complications, such as the migration of closure agents through the vascular system. These devices close the arterial hole with a nitinol clip on the exterior of the vessel, meaning that nothing remains in the artery after the procedure.

AccessClosure’s Mynx™ invasive VCD is another device that is designed to reduce procedural complications, such as trauma to the vessel and expansion of the tissue tract. The device applies a bio-inert sealant to the surface of the artery, closing both the arterial opening and the tissue tract. In addition, the Mynx™ can be deployed through an existing procedural sheath, which further eliminates the need for a sheath exchange. The device has increased its adoption rate in recent years and shows great potential.
As manufacturers, continue to address the concerns associated with using VCDs and develop innovative solutions, these devices will account for an ever increasing proportion of vascular closure procedures.

Growth Drivers

The aging population of the U.S. has led to an increase in the number of patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), resulting in increasing demand for peripheral vascular procedures. Furthermore, this increase in procedure demand coincides with the rise in the number of for-profit medical centers that have lower staffing levels and a higher preference for VCDs. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of VCDs used has risen more rapidly than the number of peripheral catheterization procedures. Growth of VCD use exceeded that of catheterization procedures due to the continuing shift from manual compression to VCD use. As a result of this growth, by 2016, it is expected that over one million VCDs will be used for peripheral vascular procedures, representing an approximately 50% increase in unit volume from 2009.

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