Medtronic’s Tyrx Antibacterial Envelope Aims to Reduce Infection Rates
Medtronic PLC has quietly signed up more than 140 U.S. hospitals and clinics in a program that aims to cut infection rates in heart devices using its innovative dissolvable surgical envelopes and rebates.
Replacing heart devices that have become infected is estimated to add more than $1 billion in expenses to the U.S. health care system each year. Minnesota-run Medtronic sells a relatively low-cost infection-fighting device called the Tyrx Antibacterial Envelope, which is wrapped around a pacemaker or defibrillator and implanted in a patient’s chest along with the machine. The envelope dissolves in weeks, releasing antibiotics into the pocket around the heart device.
Medtronic has grown so confident in the Tyrx envelope’s ability to reduce infection rates that the company is signing “risk sharing” agreements with health care providers that say the company will pay a substantial rebate toward the $50,000 cost of removing an infected Medtronic device and implanting a new one, if a Tyrx envelope was used in the original surgery and an infection sets in anyway. Infection rates are low, but rebates have been paid out already.
Hospitals are taking notice — including 13 in Minnesota that have signed up.
Michael Coyle, president of Medtronic’s $10 billion cardiac and vascular device group, told investors last month that the Tyrx program has helped Medtronic gain market share in the competitive field for devices that use electricity to make the heart beat in regular rhythm.
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By Joe Carlson Star Tribune
Image Courtesy of: Medtronic