Technical and economic feasibility of reusing Medical Devices to reduce the costs of procedures

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It’s very common practice to reuse medical devices in the West and if implemented in India, then it can bring down the cost of procedures. Officials from Maharashtra state Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY), and the State’s medical insurance scheme discussed the possibilities to reuse the devices as this can reduce the costs of the medical procedures.

Discussions are at a preliminary stage but if it adopted then major surgeries can be done at low costs. But top hospitals that have refused to be a part of MJPJAY may change their mind.

Chief Executive Officer Dr. Sudhakar Shinde of MJPAY said that only one meeting held to discuss this and there is a full possibility that it will also be discussed at a national level under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). In West, Catheters, balloons and guide wires were reused widely and dedicated agencies take care of sterilizing and repackaging the device for reuse in many countries. Pallavi Darade, FDA commissioner said infection control is very important as to reuse medical devices as chances of infection are there.

Ms. Darade said it’s not as simple as it seems and a lot of things should need to handle like how many times they can be reused, sterilization standards.  Deep analysis of this issue is required. FDA in 2017, had pulled up a number of hospitals for reusing drug-notified medical devices on multiple patients and charged them without taking its consent. Many of the hospitals are reusing them after sterilization by ethylene oxide treatment, but only a few were doing so to genuinely cut costs for patients.

Dr. Prafulla Kerkar, Cardiologist specialist from the civic-run KEM Hospital shared that no absolute clarity is there from regulatory authorities on the aspect of reuse of medical devices. He also shared that presently, the FDA mentioned labeled the devices as single-use devices or single-use disposables. All the stakeholders have to come together to arrive at a consensus and clarity on this aspect, he said.

All stakeholders should have to come together to arrive at a consensus and clarity on this aspect.

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