The UK government and patients are benefiting from “low-risk” generic hip replacements |

The UK government and patients are benefiting from “low-risk” generic hip replacements


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The NHS could be set to deliver some of the savings set out in Lord Carter’s recent review of spending, with new devices introduced into the health system.

This week, generic hip implants have become available through the NHS Supply Chain. This ensures that NHS hospitals now have access to high quality, less expensive orthopaedic implants.

Created by Manchester-based company Orthimo, these Optimised Equivalent® prostheses have been developed based on evidence from over one million of the best performing hip implants.

The UK is the first country in the world to benefit from applying the principle of generics to orthopaedic products. Generic medicines have been a core part of the NHS since the 1980s, offering the same clinical outcomes for patients as originator drugs, and now contributing over £12 billion in savings every year that can be reinvested into the health service.1

With over 66,000 hip replacement operations performed by the NHS every year,2 switching to generic hip implants from the current market leaders, the NHS could save up to £120 million by 2020 – enough to fund over 1,400 junior nurses every year. 2,3,4

The deal is well-timed following Lord Carter’s Review, which found that large efficiency savings can be made by all NHS hospitals – notably in orthopaedics. Some of these savings can be made by reducing the current variation in patient outcomes.5

Tim Briggs, National Director for Clinical Quality and Efficiency says “The Carter Review demonstrated that the NHS needs to improve consistency across Trusts, and access to generic implants for orthopaedics is a step in the right direction. Not only will this reduce variation in quality, significant costs could be saved without compromising patient safety. By improving procurement processes across the NHS we could be looking at saving £1 billion that can be reinvested in patient care.”

Professor Neil Rushton, Emeritus Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Cambridge says “These new generic implants are equivalent to the ones we know to be the safest and most reliable.  Quite simply, the NHS is being offered the best performing product, at a lower cost. Having seen the evolution of orthopaedics in nearly 50 years’ experience with NHS patients, I believe the time has come for generic implants.”

Luc Vangerven, CEO of Orthimo, is looking to the future: “This deal will help more patients live normal lives following hip implant operations. This motivates me and my team on a daily basis.  We know that we can contribute to positive patient outcomes, and by offering savings, help to safeguard the NHS, so it can continue to offer world class care to patients in the future.”


  1. British Generic Manufacturers Association. Response by the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) to the Department of Health Consultation on Amendments to the Statutory Scheme to Control the Prices of Branded Health Service Medicines. Available at:  [Accessed April 2016]
  2. National Joint Registry. Summary of Annual Statistics. Available at: [Accessed April 2016]

Department of Health, Review of Operational Productivity in NHS providers – Interim Report. Available at:  [Accessed April 2016]