New Implantable Pump for Long-Term Morphine Infusion Is Introduced

February 1, 1996
Volume 23, Issue 5

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.

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

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

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

The pump is powered by a two-phase charging fluid that liquefieswhen the drug reservoir is filled. The drug is dispensed as thecharging fluid changes to a vapor state. Thus the Infusaid Model400 never needs programming, recharging, or explantation due tobattery depletion, the company said.

Priced at about $5,000, the Infusaid Model 400 may be less expensivethan current alternatives. The manufacturer estimates total treatmentcost at 6 months of about $18,600 with Infusaid, compared to anestimated $21,000 for implantable programmable pumps, $31,000for 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 withInfusaid would be about $35,000, compared with an estimated $274,000for treatment with an externalized system.