Dear Healthcare Professionals, Patients and Family Members –
Olympus takes its role in protecting patient safety very seriously, and we are continuously seeking to improve the next-generation of our products, provide guidance on their safe use and increase the ease and efficacy of endoscope reprocessing. As we enter a new calendar year, we would like to provide a few updates regarding our duodenoscopes.
Duodenoscopes enable doctors to perform important, and often life-saving, diagnoses and treatments that would otherwise require significant abdominal surgery. More than 600,000 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures are performed safely in the United States each year; with roughly 500,000 performed using an Olympus device.
Patient safety is a shared responsibility throughout the healthcare community and we take our commitment to that responsibility very seriously. To reduce risks and enhance patient safety within our control, Olympus is undertaking a range of initiatives related to our products and their use and maintenance.
We have allocated up to 15% of our Research & Development headcount to focus on enhancing product safety, not just for our TJF-Q180V, but for all Olympus endoscopes. As part of that effort, we are continuing to develop next-generation products that will further enhance reprocessing operability and healthcare procedures through many potential changes such as product design, component materials and reprocessing methods.
Because patient safety is a shared responsibility among healthcare professionals, medical societies, regulators, advocacy groups and medical device and pharmaceutical companies, we are listening to and collaborating with these stakeholders to gain their insights and gather their recommendations on how to best prevent infections and protect patients.
Since 2015 in the United States, we have provided grants of more than $740,000 and in-kind contributions of more than $1.7 million for research into reprocessing and infection control. We have also performed more than 8,425 educational and training site visits to more than 2,500 customer sites, provided new instructions for cleaning and disinfection of duodenoscopes, and introduced a new cleaning brush and instructions for its use. Additionally, we continue to develop new print materials and videos for our customers to help guide proper reprocessing.
As always, our priority remains the safety of patients and the satisfaction of our customers. We will continue to work with customers, medical societies, governments and other stakeholders to seek to deliver the best and safest products to market.
Thank you for your continued support.