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New Implantable Pump for Long-Term Morphine Infusion Is Introduced

New Implantable Pump for Long-Term Morphine Infusion Is Introduced

NORWOOD, Mass--A new implantable pump with an inexhaustible power supply and a constant flow feature may allow lower morphine doses in patients with cancer pain.

Infusaid Model 400, a single catheter implantable pump from Strato/Infusaid Inc., a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., has received FDA approval for the intrathecal infusion of Infumorph (preservative-free morphine) for treatment of severe and prolonged malignant and nonmalignant pain in patients who do not respond to conventional treatment regimens.

The constant flow feature allows a continuous low-dose infusion of drug into the epidural or intrathecal space.

The pump is powered by a two-phase charging fluid that liquefies when the drug reservoir is filled. The drug is dispensed as the charging fluid changes to a vapor state. Thus the Infusaid Model 400 never needs programming, recharging, or explantation due to battery depletion, the company said.

Priced at about $5,000, the Infusaid Model 400 may be less expensive than current alternatives. The manufacturer estimates total treatment cost at 6 months of about $18,600 with Infusaid, compared to an estimated $21,000 for implantable programmable pumps, $31,000 for implanted catheters, and $38,000 for externalized systems. Any such cost advan-tages would increase as patient survival lengthens, the company said. At 4 years, for example, treatment cost with Infusaid would be about $35,000, compared with an estimated $274,000 for treatment with an externalized system.

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