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Ethicon Pulling Sedasys Anesthesia System

The computerized propofol delivery device was touted as the future of anesthesiology, but failed to take off in the U.S.

Published: March 10, 2016

SURPRISE MOVE Ethicon announced plans Thursday to pull its Sedasys device from the market.

Johnson & Johnson has pulled Sedasys — the computerized sedation system used by a handful of facilities for endoscopy procedures — in a surprise move announced this week.

According to a spokesperson for Ethicon, a subsidiary of the company that oversaw Sedasys, the company is pulling the system to focus its attention on its other device opportunities. It was not immediately apparent whether facilities already with Sedasys will continue using the system or if another company will take over the computerized anesthesia technology.

"The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies are deeply committed to continuing to bring new, meaningful innovation to market that will enhance patient care and improve outcomes," Kristen Wallace, director of communications for Ethicon told Outpatient Surgery in a statement. "In line with our strategy to further prioritize our investments in high growth and strategic portfolio opportunities, our Ethicon franchise has made the decision to exit the Sedasys business."

Sedasys was used for the IV administration of 1% propofol for select procedures including colonoscopies and upper endoscopy screenings. The machine placed patients under minimal-to-moderate sedation while monitoring vitals — all without an anesthesia provider in the room.

Instead, a clinician — either nurse or doctor — could operate the machine. Sedasys monitored the patient's oxygen, heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure and responsiveness, and featured several alarms and safety locks designed to prevent complications.

Users touted its ability to easily administer propofol for these procedures over using the traditional combination of midazolam and fentanyl as a way to shorten patient recovery and increase efficiency.

However, the machine was slow to catch on. Despite winning FDA approval in 2013, the device was only rolled out last year to a handful of facilities. Since then, it has been sluggish in picking up other users throughout the U.S. market.

The move comes after an announcement last month that Johnson & Johnson will restructure its medical device business. In February, the company announced plans to cut about 3,000 jobs in its medical device unit over the next 2 years.

Kendal Gapinski


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