Marine Polymer Technologies News

BioMedEcon Reports Nearly 20-Fold Difference in Cost Efficacy of Skin Substitutes to Treat Venous Leg Ulcers
July 9, 2012

According to a landmark study published this month in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy and presented at the 4th Biennial Conference of the American Society of Health Economists held at the University of Minnesota, the most expensive skin substitutes (also known as “advanced wound care matrices”) for the treatment of venous leg ulcers (VLUs) may not provide the greatest clinical or cost efficacy. A copy of the published article, entitled “Clinical and Cost Efficacy of Advanced Wound Care Matrices for Venous Ulcers,” is available at:

“Clinical and Cost Efficacy of Advanced Wound Care Matrices for Venous Ulcers”

The study, which was funded by Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc., reviewed all published, randomized, controlled trials that reported rates of complete VLU healing within 24 weeks (“treatment success”) using standard compression therapy alone or standard compression therapy in combination with skin substitutes (Apligraf, Oganogenesis, Inc., Canton, MA; Oasis Wound Matrix, Healthpoint Biotherapeutics, San Antonio, TX; and Talymed, Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc., Danvers, MA). The additional costs required to achieve treatment success with combination therapy over costs required with standard compression therapy alone varied nearly 20-fold, from $1,600 for Talymed to $29,952 for Apligraf.

“There is an alarming need for cost-effective treatment of VLUs in the United States,” stated Dr. Hankin, President and Chief Scientific Officer of BioMedEcon and lead study author. “Unfortunately, there are no direct head-to-head studies that compare the outcomes of VLU treatment by skin substitutes,” noted Dr. Maria Lopes, co-investigator and Chief Medical Officer of AMC Health. Dr Lopes added, “In the absence of these direct comparisons, our results, which should be tempered by the limited number of available published studies and variations in study design, may offer useful information to guide best practices and health plan coverage and reimbursement decisions.”

An estimated half a million people in the United States suffer from VLUs each year, at an annual cost of $3 billion. Compression therapy, which has remained the standard of VLU care for more than 30 years, offers limited treatment success - only 50%-65% of VLUs are completely healed after 24 weeks. Advanced wound care matrices, when used in combination with standard compression therapy, accelerate VLU healing. Although initially more costly than standard therapy alone, combined treatment with advanced wound care matrices may provide long-term cost savings, particularly if the selection of skin substitute is based on empirically-derived evidence of clinical and cost efficacy.

About BioMedEcon

BioMedEcon, LLC is a leading-edge provider of health economics and outcomes research. BioMedEcon applies rigorous scientific methods to create comprehensive and objective health care policy recommendations, practical formulary decision models, and pharmaceutical and drug delivery market entry strategies. Clients and partners include established and emerging leaders in health care delivery, managed care, and pharmaceutical, biotech, drug delivery and medical device industries. For more information, call 650.563.9475 or visit


BioMedEcon, LLC
Cheryl S. Hankin, PhD, 650-563-9475
President and Chief Scientific Officer

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