I.V. PREMIXED DRUG CARTRIDGE SYSTEM IS "TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE,"
I.V. PREMIXED DRUG CARTRIDGE SYSTEM IS "TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE," but manufacturing costs are delaying commercial viability, Abbott Hospital Product Division VP Sales & Marketing Robert Parkingson, Jr., told a Sept. 14 symposium in NYC sponsored by the Wilkerson Group. "A prefilled syringe of drug that avoids labor in the pharmacy and can be clipped in a syringe infusor on the [hospital] floor is technically feasible," Parkinson said. "What we haven't figured out," Parkinson continued, "is how to manufacture it at a low enough cost." Bonnie Kirschenbaum director of Pharmacy Services at National Medical Enterprises (NME) suggested the need for such a product. "If some one were smart enough to be able to prepare a premixed or frozen product in some sort of cartridge system that can ultimately slip into the syringe pump delivery system . . . so that I don't have to be in the manufacturing business of the pharmacy, that would be a whole lot more appealing to me," Kirschenbaum said. Abbott, which markets the Add-Vantage drug delivery system, reportedly holds 34-37% of the part fill/premix market, competing with Baxter's 56-59% Minibag share. Noting NME's commitment to Baxter, Kirschenbaum commented, "When I look at the sources ofsupply for injectable products, my first choice is something in the frozen premix family." Kirschenbaum cited breadth of product line and a minimum of labor intensiveness as reasons she would choose one I.V. system over another. She expressed a desire for greater diversification of drug delivery systems from companies such as Abbott and Baxter, pointing out that hospitals often resort to a "mishmash of several different types of products" to fulfill their needs. From the prospective of a hospital purchaser, "those of you representing the pharmaceutical industry . . . need to realize that when you are bringing a new product to market it is extremely important to realize no longer are you only in the drug business, but you are also in the drug delivery business, whether you want to be or not," Kirschenbaum said.
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