VCR ventracor limited

vcr - egoli report

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    Egoli report

    Ventracor Limited (VCR) yesterday announced that the US Medicare equivalent has increased the rebate for patients receiving its artificial heart devices. Analysts said the decision should increase the use of artificial hearts on patients with heart failure.

    According to the Australian company, the decision was “reasonable and necessary” for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic end-stage heart failure for permanent mechanical cardiac support.

    The third generation artificial heart device “VentrAssist” is designed to provide a permanent alternative to patients suffering heart failure. It is designed to support the function of the heart’s left ventricle and pump blood throughout the body.

    The Centre for Medicare and Medical Services (CMS), operating within the US Department of Health and Human Services, made the decision. The federal agency is responsible for and runs the US Medicare and Medicaid programs.

    US patients were previously reimbursed US$54,000 of the total cost of the procedure, which usually averages around US$200,000. The decision increases the rebate to US$70,000.

    Ventracor CEO and managing director Michael Spooner highlighted the importance of the decision.

    This is a significant decision and a very large step toward underpinning the market and economic drivers in the USA for left ventricular assist devices and in particular the company’s VentrAssist device when approved by the FDA”, he said.

    CMS concurred with the FDA approval of the implantation of a left ventricular assist device as destination therapy. The medical agency conceded that it was reasonable and necessary to categorise the device in such a way for those patients who meet the criteria of having end-stage left ventricular failure for at least 90 days with a life expectancy of less than two years, and who were not viable candidates for heart transplantation.

    After announcing the second successful implantation of a VentrAssist device towards the end September, Ventracor is now undertaking clinical trials of the devices. This encompasses part of the company’s progress toward commercialisation of its technology.
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