by David T. Young
Covidien, a leading global provider of healthcare products, develops, manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines including medical devices and supplies, pharmaceuticals and diagnostic imaging products.
With the acquisition of ev3 in 2010, Covidien expanded its focus on the treatment of peripheral vascular, neurovascular and venous vascular disease. Through a disciplined approach that leverages clinical evidence, world-class education programs and customer collaboration, Covidien is uniquely focused on revitalizing and preserving life and limb for patients with vascular disease.
Committed to Collaboration
“With life-saving technologies for the endovenous, peripheral and neurovascular arenas, Covidien is committed to advancing the field even further,” said Dr. Mark Turco, Chief Medical Officer, Covidien Vascular Therapies. “The ability to partner with key physicians and societies to develop innovative, clinically relevant and cost effective technologies is a priority for the company. To accomplish this, we have increased our commitment to R&D, as well as physician training and education.”
Dr. Turco emphasized the importance of collaboration across the company. “We have the ability to collaborate with others in the company and leverage expertise and knowledge from diverse areas of the business. The result is new opportunities to expand the portfolio of products the company offers and deliver new technologies to customers.”
Focus on Vascular Therapies
Clinicians are now challenged more than ever to provide the most effective treatment options for patients who suffer from vascular disease. Covidien’s expanded vascular portfolio is uniquely positioned to provide customers with a full breadth of vascular products.
Covidien Vascular business has three distinct divisions:
- Venous Vascular is actively expanding the care for patients with venous disease. Existing technologies include radiofrequency (RF) ablation for venous insufficiency, compression, dialysis and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) treatments. New therapies to treat more complex venous disease will continue to be evaluated to provide market leadership in this evolving space.
- Peripheral Vascular focuses on the treatment of peripheral artery disease. It provides breakthrough technologies allowing for lower limb treatment options enabling patients to achieve fuller lives. The company’s extensive product portfolio includes plaque excision systems, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) balloons, stents, embolic protection, and a carotid stent program.
- Neurovascular is driving forward with breakthrough solutions for acute ischemic stroke, as well as expanding its aneurysm coil franchise, onyxembolic treatments, and flow diversion for large neck aneurysms.
“The prevalence of peripheral vascular disease continues to grow, but the diagnosis and treatment still lags,” said Brian Verrier, Vice President/General Manager, Covidien Vascular Therapies. “As a result, we see an opportunity to drive market development and develop innovative technologies that provide better solutions for treating patients across the arterial and venous disease states. Through collaboration with our customers, we are focused on rapidly transforming ideas into innovative vascular solutions that achieve both clinical and economical value.”
Today, Covidien stands out in venous vascular care, particularly in the areas of DVT , chronic venous insufficiency and dialysis access. Here are just a few examples:
- The Kendall SCDTM compression system, A-V ImpulseTM foot compression system and T.E.D.TM antiembolism stockings help reduce the risk of DVT.
- The TrellisTM peripheral infusions system, a unique catheter-based pharmacomechanical thrombolytic drug infusion system addresses blood clots associated with DVT.
- Chronic venous insufficiency, the major underlying cause of varicose veins, can be treated by Covidien’s ClosureFastTM thermal vein ablation product. It employs radiofrequency energy that heats and closes diseased veins and has been clinically proven to reduce pain and speed recovery.
- In dialysis access, Covidien offers a complete line of acute, chronic and peritoneal dialysis catheters, including the PalindromeTM and MahurkarTM family of acute care catheters. Each has specific attributes that allow the clinician to meet the needs of the patient.
Covidien’s Comprehensive Professional Affairs and Clinical Education (PACE) Division
Covidien is passionate about making doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals as effective as they can be. Through ongoing collaboration with these medical professionals and healthcare organizations, the company identifies clinical needs and translates them into proven products and procedures. This is the crux of the company’s efforts in PACE .
“With Covidien’s investment in medical affairs, we are able to work with physicians and professional societies in a compliant and transparent way,” said Dr. Turco. To ensure optimal patient outcomes, the company is committed to delivering the highest value clinical education training on the use of Covidien products. The company has a successful track record in teaching and inspiring healthcare professionals through a combination of state-of-the-art training, field support and clinical research findings, and continues to offer myriad programs and opportunities in professional education.
“We collaborate with healthcare professionals who are both academic and community based,” said Evelyn Collazo, Senior Director, Global PACE , Covidien Vascular Therapies. “This allows us to create educational programs that have strong scientific content delivered by faculty with extensive experience on the procedures and products they are teaching.”
After each program, follow up is provided on the local level from a clinical specialist.
The training programs offered by Covidien range from introductory to advanced educational events. They address the needs of physicians, as well as nurse and allied health professionals, in all three Vascular divisions - Venous Vascular, Peripheral Vascular and Neurovascular. Collazo recommends that healthcare professionals speak to their local sales representative to determine which programs are best suited for them.
For physicians who are seeking to advance their knowledge of a particular procedure, there is an opportunity for clinical immersion experience. This involves a 1-2 day, on-site visit at a leading expert’s facility, focused on observation of a particular specialty, such as aneurysm treatment, stenting, lower limb revascularization or management of chronic venous disease.
The company also offers proctorships where a recognized expert will arrange a one-day visit to a physician’s hospital and provide verbal guidance and observation through the day. This opportunity is designed as post-training program support for physicians seeking to expand their expertise and master a new procedure.
User group meetings are another vehicle through which groups of physicians who are experienced with the use of Covidien devices exchange case studies and relevant observations. This shared platform allows them to compare effective strategies for managing complex medical situations.
For doctors who would like access to new technologies in a more time-compressed environment, Covidien offers compact web-based presentations. Like the other learning opportunities, these webinars also offer high-level knowledge in a given specialization area.
“The faculty is critical to a successful program because of their passion for teaching and candid experiences about their clinical cases,” said Collazo. The company has received positive feedback on the training programs offered, most recently, to those in the venous vascular area. According to Collazo, this is due to their fair balance, strong scientific content and hands-on component.
“Our focus is to invest in education and awareness, as well as innovative technologies, to improve access to care for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from lifethreatening and debilitating arterial and venous disease,” said Verrier. “Leveraging the full breadth and capabilities across Covidien’s vascular business has enabled an extremely strong new product pipeline as well as new business development opportunities that will drive market leadership and fuel our growth for years.” V
With 2011 revenue of $11.6 billion, Covidien has 41,000 employees worldwide in more than 65 countries, and its products are sold in over 140 countries. To learn more about the business, visit www.covidien.com.