Covidien has announced the launch of DuraSeal sealant for the intra-operative sealing of dural membrane during spine procedures. In the U.S. alone, 150,000 spine surgeries annually are associated with leaks of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), with each incident being reponsible for nearly $6,500 in additional costs.
What is telling in Covidien's emphasis on cost is that it directly targets a perceived problem with medical technologies — that they are associated with unnecessary (or at least unreasonably high) costs. As such, medical technology, inclusive of medical devices and technologies like sealants, which serve roles like medical devices (e.g., sutures), are too often viewed as adding to cost, when they can in fact reduce cost.
The perspective of Covidien is not merely a marketing spin, and it is unfortunate that the prevailing view of medical technology outside of the industry misses the reality of the efforts of many manufacturers like Covidien, who recognize the compelling sales case that can be made when new technologies offer the benefit of lowered cost. Innovation is as much achieving this benefit as extending life or improving quality of life.
See MMD report #S175, "Worldwide Surgical Sealants, Glues and Wound Closure, 2009-2013."