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Published 7/1/2008

Industry News

New system for vertebral compression fractures
DePuy Spine, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, has launched a novel treatment for vertebral compression fractures, the Confidence Spinal Cement System™. According to the company, the system consists of “a proprietary hydraulic-based delivery system that provides precise placement of a specially formulated high viscosity polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) bone cement directly into vertebral bodies to stabilize fractures and to potentially reduce pain.”

The company reports that the system is easy to use, with a short mixing time; the dough-like consistency of the cement is designed to provide a controlled, more even fill than low-viscosity cement. For more information about the Confidence System, visit www.confidencespinalcement.com

CCHIT launches EHR education site
The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) recently launched a new Web site designed to help educate physicians on electronic health records (EHR). The site,
www.EHRDecisions.com, includes advice on how to determine your readiness to move to EHRs, get started on the selection process, and make decisions in purchasing and contract negotiations.

Visitors to the site will be able to post comments and questions on EHR certification and adoption issues. There will also be advice on how to derive the full potential benefits from an EHR, from both a business and clinical standpoint.

SpineMark announces joint venture with Korean hospital
SpineMark Corporation (San Diego) has established a joint venture with Wooridul Hospital of Korea to create centers designed to advance the development of programs for clinical care, research, and medical education. Working together, the organizations aim to co-establish and manage a clinical research organization with spinal research organizations in Korea, Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, India, and Abu Dhabi. This design will also allow independent clinicians to participate in global clinical trials without being hampered by a lack of infrastructure.

Also in the works are plans for a medical education center and training facility in Singapore to train physicians on the latest clinical advancement in spine care. “Our goal is to create global medical destination centers that provide advanced treatment options to people who suffer from spinal disorders and diseases,” said Dr. Jihoon Jeong, director of research and international business at Wooridul Hospital.

FDA broadens indication for osteoporosis treatment
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (East Hanover, N.J.) has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has broadened the indication for its once-yearly osteoporosis treatment Reclast® (zoledronic acid) Injection to include the prevention of new clinical fractures in patients who have recently had a low-trauma hip fracture.

According to the company, the FDA decision is based on safety and efficacy data from the Recurrent Fracture Trial that showed a significant 35 percent reduction in the risk of new clinical fractures in patients treated with the product, which is administered as a once-yearly, 15-minute intravenous infusion.

For more information, visit www.reclast.com