WASHINGTON & BERLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is recommending the use of reprocessed medical devices as one of several key steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. health systems. NAM encourages health systems to reduce their dependence on single-use plastics, switch from disposable to reusable products, and “[optimize] reprocessing as allowed per FDA regulations.”
“The NAM recommendation to reprocess more single-use medical devices is another sign that researchers and regulators are recognizing that reprocessing represents a ‘low hanging fruit’ solution for slashing waste, cost, and greenhouse gas emissions from the health sector,” said Daniel Vukelich, President and CEO of the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors. “With hospitals generating more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire aviation sector, we have to embrace solutions like reprocessing that are proven and available immediately.”
NAM joins the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to become the second federal government entity or national-level organization that advocate for reprocessing to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In September 2022, AHRQ released a primer on “Measures and Actions for Healthcare Organizations to Mitigate Climate Change.” The primer also encouraged reprocessing as a “key strategy” for health systems to meet their decarbonization goals.
“To meaningfully reduce emissions within this domain and improve resilience,” the primer stated, “healthcare organizations must shift away from single-use disposable devices and expand reusable inventories to maximize material value and minimize pollution.”
In response to growing interest within the health sector in reprocessing, Mr. Vukelich will present at CleanMed 2023 on May 23, in Pittsburgh, Penn. on the value of reprocessing as a more sustainable alternative.
About the Worldwide Commercial Reprocessing Industry
Reprocessing, known as “remanufacturing” in Europe, is well regulated and practiced in 19 countries. Pioneered in the United States with strong regulation from the Food and Drug Administration, the industry has grown from roughly $20 million in 2000 to over $460M in 2021. Over 10,500 hospitals and surgical centers, including all US News & World Report “Top Hospitals,” all U.S. military hospitals, and 23 German University hospitals used reprocessed SUDs in 2021. If all U.S. hospitals used reprocessed devices at the rate of the top 10% performing hospitals (in terms of the number of devices they reprocess), U.S. hospitals would save nearly $2.5 trillion. [All data courtesy of www.AMDR.org].
The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors is the global trade association for the regulated, commercial single-use device reprocessing and remanufacturing industry. For 23 years, AMDR has promoted reprocessing and remanufacturing as an important healthcare strategy that helps hospitals and healthcare providers increase quality, reduce costs, waste and emissions, and strengthen the supply chain.
AMDR protects the interests of its members in regulation, legislation and standard-setting. AMDR members include Arjo ReNu Medical, Innovative Health, Medline Renewal, NEScientific, Stryker Sustainable Solution, Sustainable Technologies (a Cardinal Health Business), and Vanguard AG. Having played a key role in the establishment of the reprocessing industry, AMDR continues to push the global medical technology industry, leading the way for remanufacturing to play a defining role in the evolution of new device technologies.