One of the upshots of the trend toward cost reduction in medical plastics is greater use of disposable products.
"It seems counter intuitive that it saves money to dispose of products after a single use," one medical expert told Plastics Today in an interview at MD&M West (Anaheim, CA) last month. "But if you consider the costs of sterilization and inventory management, there definitely can be a savings involved."
Costs of sterilization are increasing as a result of new efforts to rid hospitals of germs that can cause infections. Many suppliers are introducing materials that have better chemical resistance or heat stability to withstand sterilization processes. The new materials are more costly, and that can help tip the economic balance toward disposables.
"It can cost up to $50 to $100 per device for steam sterilization," says Josh Blackmore, global healthcare manager, RTP (Winona, MN). "The hospitals are increasingly adding up those costs."...