SUD Market Continues to Grow

The single-use medical device market continues to grow and the reprocessing of these devices is one reason for the growth.

Single-use medical device reprocessing is the disinfection of a used medical device in order to return it to service. All reprocessed medical devices originally labeled for single use in the United States are subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) manufacturing requirements and must meet strict cleaning, functionality, and sterility specifications prior to use, according to the FDA.

The reprocessing of medical devices, particularly those that are labeled “Single Use Device” (SUDs), is believed to have started in the United States but is now common around the globe.

Currently, approximately 2 percent of all SUDs on the U.S. market were eligible for reprocessing by a qualified third-party vendor in 2008, according to a Wall Street Journal article. Even more SUDs are now eligible for reprocessing.

Brian White, president of Stryker's Sustainability Solutions, was interviewed for an article last year and explained that the market continues to take shape as it grows and attracts more customers.

White went on to forecast that the purchase of reprocessed single-use devices will continue to be a useful tool for hospitals as health care systems prepare cost-effective and environmentally responsible avenues to meet their needs.

He added that companies are looking for more and more ways to improve medical device design to allow for effective reprocessing of OEM products to assist health care users as they plan equipment purchases that can include single-use devices ready to be used, reprocessed and used again.

Medical device purchasers tell us they want to reprocess more expensive devices in the future, White said.

“Hospitals are going to do more business with original manufacturers that support their overall goals and less business with those that do not,” he said. “This means we will likely see an emergence of new devices that are engineered with reprocessing in mind. I believe it could become a real competitive advantage for original manufacturers that embrace this reality.”

The increasing generation of medical waste coupled with the lack of centralized support for waste disposal in the health care industry is expected to drive the demand for reprocessed medical devices market.

The global reprocessed medical devices market is expected to reach $5 billion by 2022, according to a study by Grand View Research Inc. The increasing generation of medical waste coupled with the lack of centralized support for waste disposal in the health care industry is expected to drive the demand for reprocessed medical devices market. Additionally, the long-term cost-efficiency associated with these devices as compared to that of the original device is driving the industry.

According to the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR), hospitals witness up to 50 percent cost savings on every purchase of the reprocessed medical device.

Reprocessing has also fueled a reduction in device cost by OEMs as they compete with third-party reprocessors. This competition has had an impact on industry growth.

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