New generic startup, Impact Medical, sells a $90 screw |

New generic startup, Impact Medical, sells a $90 screw

Headless Impact Medical screwOREGON UPSTART OFFERS $90 SCREW (Orthopedics This Week)

List of Low Cost Ortho Companies

The headless 3 millimeter compression screw placed in a hip or knee costs $385 from one leading manufacturer. An upstart, based in Portland, Oregon, is selling that same screw for $90—a 76% reduction. Elizabeth Hayes, staff reporter for the Portland Business Journal, tells the story of Impact Medical and its founder and CEO, E.J. Duffy, who says that his orthopedic implants are made out of the exact same stainless steel as are those from other manufacturers.

“We were able to reverse engineer a lot of products,” Duffy told Hayes. “We get our competitors’ products, give them to our engineer and we find a manufacturer to build it to our specs. The point is, you can’t tell the difference between them.”

The market in which Duffy and his company, Impact Medical, participate has annual sales of more than 1.7 billion dollars. Impact Medical presently has customers in seven states.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Impact Medical clearance for numerous products: including 11 types of screws, two styles of plates for bone fixation and assorted K-wires and drill bits. Duffy says that more screws, plates, cables and an external fixator device are in the pipeline. Clearance by the FDA certifies that the company’s products are similar or better than products currently on the market.

One response to New generic startup, Impact Medical, sells a $90 screw

  1. Elana Kellogg September 1st, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    This article reminds me of the horror stories or I should say expensive stories of manufacturers gauging the consumers. Manufacturers have always tried to get the highest price for their products and if the purchasers or the tax payers don’t pay attention they will continue to be taken to the cleaners.
    Your story again proves the point. Medicare would not be in the toilette if we had honest prices; or the ability to shop and compare. Usually when in the OR the patient has no say
    in the matter. It takes whatever the surgeon puts in his body.
    Then of course how does the surgeon choose a particular item? Certainly not by price comparison. Instead the choice is made by where the rep will send his/her family on an all paid vacation. Or other such perks. Perhaps not every surgeon does this,…..but enough do. So then comes the next link: the middle man. and on and on. Each link of the chain grabs as much money as possible as it goes by.

    Glad to hear about this company. I will keep the name in mind so that when I need a replacement I will request it use Impact Medical Screws.
    By the way, can Ortho Streams investigate which companies are using which screws as part of the kit? the expensive ones or the inexpensive ones. I would be interested in the findings.


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