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Survey Finds Half of Surgeons Worldwide Unwilling to Use Generics

Thirty percent of orthopaedic surgeons worldwide would be willing to use low-cost or generic implants, according to a recent survey by Needham & Company. A greater number of surgeons in the U.S. (40 percent) said they were willing to use low-cost implants, in comparison to surgeons practicing in Europe, Middle East and Africa (29.2 percent) and Asia-Pacific (18.2 percent).

Of the remaining survey respondents, 18 percent worldwide stated that they were unsure if they were willing to use generic implants, while 52 percent responded that they would not.

Low-cost orthopaedic implants are sold directly to the hospital or private practice without sales rep coverage, with the goal of substantial cost reduction for the OEM and the end user. The longevity of low-cost manufacturers and their ability to claim substantial market share is yet to be proved. Still, new companies continue to crop up each year with the belief that this business model is an answer to healthcare price pressures.

Needham & Company’s surgeon survey also asked respondents to rank six factors driving their choice of implant. Surgeons in the U.S. and Europe, Middle East and Africa responded as follows, from most important to least important: clinical results, ease of use, price, implant materials, service provided by sales rep and hospital guidance. Surgeons in Asia-Pacific ranked the factors as clinical results, ease of use, implant materials, service provided by sales rep, price and hospital guidance.

More about the survey: Needham & Company surveyed 178 surgeons worldwide about recon market trends. The majority of respondents (56 percent) are employed by hospitals, while 27 percent are employed by universities and 10 percent are in private practice. Also, 71 percent of respondents are located in Europe, Middle East and Africa, 14 percent in the U.S. and 12 percent in Asia-Pacific.