MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — OXINIUM™
Oxidized Zirconium, the patented advanced bearing material from
Smith & Nephew (NYSE: SNN, LSE: SN) Orthopaedics Division, has
been awarded a C1 premium reimbursement classification in Japan for
use in hip replacement surgery. The decision by the Central Medical
Insurance Committee comes three years after it awarded Smith &
Nephew with Japan’s first-ever premium price reimbursement for an
orthopaedic implant—for the use of OXINIUM material in total
knee replacement implants. Smith & Nephew is the only
orthopaedic medical device company to have been awarded C1
reimbursement for both hip and knee replacement implants.
The C1 classification rewards innovative products with a higher
reimbursement price and is reserved for those products where the
advantages over other available products are recognized by Japan’s
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
OXINIUM™ Oxidized Zirconium is a metal alloy whose surface
takes on the hard, wear-reducing properties of ceramic during a
proprietary heating process. Since it has the abrasion resistance
of a ceramic, it reduces implant wear by 98-percent(1) when coupled
with a cross-linked polyethylene cup, compared to traditionally
used implant materials (cobalt chrome and standard polyethylene).
At the same time, it retains the strength of the underlying
zirconium metal alloy, thus eliminating the risk of fracture
associated with ceramic implants.
“It is truly an honor for OXINIUM material to have been awarded
with premium reimbursement in Japan twice in three
years—first for knee replacements, and now for hip
replacements,” says Joseph M. DeVivo, president of Smith &
Nephew Orthopaedics. “It’s a testament to our drive to
innovate—our material technology is unrivalled globally, and
now patients in Japan will have access to the centerpiece of our
advanced bearings portfolio.”
(1) Parikh, A., Hill P., Hin