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A population grows to depend on dialysis

by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | November 17, 2011
From the November 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Nevertheless, the utilization of home dialysis is still relatively rare. In the U.S., Kraus noted, over 90 percent utilize in-center HD, 7 percent undergo PD and in the past year, home dialysis increased to around three percent of the population.

“Home HD is the new thing and it takes a while for people to broadly adopt the new thing,” says Burbank.

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Company and equipment highlights
Rapid consolidations, mixed with broad, innovative product lines have pushed OEMs including Fresenius Medical Care, Baxter International and DaVita to the forefront of the market. A variety of structural changes in the industry have taken place in the last six years: DaVita bought Gambro’s dialysis care division; and Renal Advantage Inc. was bought by Fresenius, who also acquired dialysis manufacturer Hema Metrics Crit-Line system business earlier this year; and in 2009, Baxter bought Edwards CRRT, a continuous renal replacement therapy provider. This year, market share for Fresenius’ Venofer increased among nephrologists utilizing Fresenius units, as did market share for Sanofi-Aventis’ Ferrlecit among nephrologists that work with independent units. Share of AMAG’s Feraheme decreased among nephrologists at small/medium dialysis organizations and independent units – product utilization had previously been the greatest here, according to BioTrend’s report.

Dialysis technology has come a long way in the past 15 years, according to Kraus. He currently uses Gambro’s Phoenix Hemodialysis System; Baxter’s Ultrabag system for PD patients; and the Fresenius Freedom Cycler; but noted NxStage Medical Inc.’s System One, the only portable HD machine (cleared for home use by the Food and Drug Administration), is the most important technological advancement he has seen.

According to Burbank, NxStage’s business has been significantly up in the past year. The OEM’s products can be used in the home, ICUs, CCUs and hospitals.

“We’ve been a fast-growing company, with a 20 percent year-over-year growth rate,” says Burbank.

Smith said he has been using the NxStage System One at home since 2007.

“I live life as a pretty normal person, as opposed to those who are treated in-center; I can carry my machine on my motorcycle, take it river rafting and on road trips,” says Smith, a member of the Northwest Kidney Center’s regional council.

Also jumping on the home dialysis bandwagon is Germany-based Fresenius, who earlier this year announced FDA clearance of its 2008k@home dialysis machine. Additionally, Fresenius responded to the bundled payments by introducing the 2008T – combining the company’s most advanced HD delivery system with Fresenius Clinical Data Exchange. For the first time, caregivers will be provided with chair side access to dialysis treatment and medical information system data to facilitate real-time adjustments to therapy and care plans. The company operates 2,700 dialysis clinics across North America and overseas markets, providing 215,000 patients worldwide with dialysis treatments.

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