Two joint studies by The Reno OrthopaedicClinic and the University of Nevada School of Medicine have found that generic implants can deliver the same quality outcomes as conventional implants while also saving costs. The results, presented October 4 at the 28th Annual Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) Meeting, utilized generic screws from The Orthopaedic Implant Company (OIC) and examined the costs, implementation, and clinical outcomes of a cost-containment program at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, NV. The screws were generic equivalent 7.3 mm cannulated sacroiliac and femoral neck screws used in orthopaedic trauma procedures. The results showed that the generic 7.3 mm cannulated screws made by OIC performed as well as conventional screws for the fixation of femoral neck fractures and posterior pelvic ring injuries without affecting patient care, quality, or outcomes.
One study examining operative time, estimated blood loss, complication rate, shortening, screw cutout, conversion to arthroplasty, and varus collapse, found no measurable difference in outcomes with patients using either generic or conventional screws. In a second study a blind reviewer found there was no increase in operative time, estimated blood loss, complication rate, screw cutout, screw deformation, or screw loosening in patients treated with generic cannulated screws from OIC against patients treated with conventional screws for posterior pelvic ring injuries. Both studies also respectively found the generic screws saved the hospital $34,653 and $15,878 annually per case .
OIC entered the medical device market in 2010, pledging to save more than a billion dollars in health care costs by 2015. In a press release statement, the studies' lead author, Dr. Peter Athausen, stated, “These studies demonstrate the ability of generic implants to significantly lower implant costs to hospitals, insurance carriers, and patients while providing high quality care, potentially saving the health care system billions of dollars in unnecessary costs. We’re excited but not surprised by the studies’ findings. These results empower surgeons, hospitals and patients to feel comfortable choosing generic implants without having to worry about sacrificing quality.”
-Chris Wiltz is the assistant editor at MD+DI