Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Op Ed

The last couple of weeks in spine have been nothing less than sensational.  Dirk Kuyper is no longer running the good ship AlphaWreck, Spinal Elements has come up with a potentially "game-changing" vertebral inter body device (just kidding, isn't every product that comes out in spine game-changing), and David Paul can stand on the Aircraft Carrier Globus Medical declaring, "Mission Accomplished." With twenty, ahem, new products in the pipeline will he have the time to spend all of that money? Who knows, maybe he can enter the Presidential race. He is a CEO isn't he? And if running a company qualifies you for the highest office in the land, there is hope. Can anyone say, "birth certificate?" Who knows maybe he can legislate some policies that would take us right back in time when the industry didn't have to worry about pricing, or whether there would be any scrutiny by the insurance industry when it came to rubber stamping back surgery, when reps didn't have to worry about a reduction in commissions. But austerity has become our mantra. Pass the blame on everyone else except those that are running the companies themselves. It's time for those CEO's to personally tighten their belts and commit the necessary resources toward new technologies. Unfortunately many still would like to live in the past. You know what period TSB is talking about. Investors showered every insane idea or company with capital in hopes of the Holy Grail. How we long for them old 5-7X days. Those were the days my friends, we thought they'd never end. Not only were private investors throwing their millions at you, surgeons stopped being surgeons and became investors, subsidizing companies and protecting their investment by finding enough of patients to keep their investment and the company solvent. How many of those still exist?  Can someone say Mississippi? Maryland? South Dakota? California? Outside of Globus, where have any these other ventures gone? Nowhere. TSB is sure that some pompous small growth company CEO will rationalize that his intent was to never sell the company, unfortunately those individuals rarely stop to look in the mirror. When it comes to change, spine is an obstinate industry. Many of our readers blame the FDA, some even blame the current Administration, some are even willing to blame those that provide access to capital resources, but the truth is that the party is coming to an end regardless of whichever party takes office in January of 2013.  Our only saving grace lies with David Paul and Alex Lukianov so that they can finally put their difference aside and run for office. It's never too late. They are CEO's, aren't they? That automatically qualifies them to get the country out of the doldrums. Hey we could move all manufacturing to India and the Soviet Union. On second thought, that just isn't going to happen since their egos are larger than the Capitol's rotunda.

So where do we go from here?  If you believe Spinal Elements and Dr. Kitchell, they may have created the "ideal" environment for bone healing.  Don't believe it?  Imagine the novelty of an implant that has been sprayed with a titanium porous coating. Why didn't Globus, Nuvasive, or DePuy Synthes ever think of that?  Isn't it absurd and embarrassing that educated men tout this "new" product offering as "an exciting new technology?" How desperate can they be?  Taking a step forward?  Come on fellas, if this is all you have to offer, it's a wonder that SE has gotten this far. In all likelihood, this is another company that is on a bridge to nowhere. Is there anything innovative?  Have we had bad results with the current line up of interbody products?  Thank goodness for amateur marketing.  It was reported in another industry rag that the company's first two product were called Lucent and Crystal.  Maybe therein lies the problem, someone was doing too much crystal.  But you know what Tug McGraw use to say, "you gotta believe!"  By the way, for you young uns, Tug McGraw was Tim McGraw's   daddy.  So in closing, as the dog daze of summer are upon us, and everyone is gearing up for the silly season when we embrace the Spine Technology Awards and NASS, TSB wants to know, where's the beef?  Who has the keys to the Emerald City?

You sit in you big fancy house baby and you drive your fancy car
You treat us like we're not there, but I guess that's who you are
I'm on the the bridge to better days, better days are coming now

90 comments:

  1. That's all good and everythIng, but the real question is: When is Penile USA going public?

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  2. Did not Titan Spine come up with the Ti hype first?

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  3. D Paul and Lukianov didn't build that!

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  4. Maybe you should run for office, with a background in orthopedics and spine your definitely qualified..maybe over qualified?

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  5. TSB is not after fame TSB is too busy doing other things

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  6. To borrow from Lester Bangs, Spine is dead kids, you missed it..

    With thy being said, what is, if there is an "is"; the medical sector to be in? How can someone with a decade of spine experience transfer to a new sector? Anything outside of healthcare/surgical that would even have us?

    I've really started to think about this. I think the party is coming to a close and we all have a big shitty hangover to face.

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  7. TSB and All the other Losers belly-aching about this industry....Get the F--- out of it and quit crying because you have lost value to those you thought needed you! The more of you that get out then the more to spread around to the rest of us that enjoy and have success now and in the future! No wonder you Losers have nothing else to do than to try and make the majority of us that are kickin A-- think we are all headed down the ole shit hole! Give me a break and go get a job managing a Whataburger store where the only pressure you will have is keeping the French fries hot! LMAO you losers!

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    1. Hey Anonymous 4:58, I am actually in the market for fast food management jobs and a google search returned your little medicine blog. I don't know who you are, hiding behind a veil of anonymity, but if you think managing a fast food restaurant is easy you sound like the loser that you are accusing everyone else of being. Try walking in my shoes one day jerk. I have to deal with a bunch of low-brow miscreants every day that are trying to snake burgers and shakes behind my back all the time. Cleaning bathrooms on my break because some ladys kid thought pissing in the trash can was normal. I support a family of 5 on a salary that is probably 1/2 of what you doctors make so why don't you be humble you snobby prick. And just so you know doc, I don't tease my workers about sticking thermometers in their asses when they don't feel well so don't put down other professions.

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  8. Hey Mr Testosterone everything is cyclical, can't wait to see your reaction when you get your commissions or territory cut or you can't strike anymore deals, you'll get your ass kickin' then, see you flipping burgers at the In and Out or selling frozen yogurt, LMAO

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    1. Flipping burgers is far more honorable than working in the medical device industry.

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    2. Why are you always so angry? Is it because jean Claude van dam hasn't made another Rambo type movie in years?

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  9. 4:58 sounds like a hillbilly from Jefferson County

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  10. Hey I used to be in spine, tough racket. Now I am flipping burgers but looking to move up to assistant manager. Did you say In N Out is hiring?

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  11. Laugh it up 4:58. This isn't about not being able to cut it in the business, it's about the insane pricing pressures coming from all directions. It's about insurance companies not approving fusions, etc.
    Maybe you are so awesome that your hospitals exclude you and your awesome company from biannual price reductions, but in my world that's what's happening. Even with "new technology" pricing is being slashed. What you can get for a perc screw is now less than what you could get for an open screw five years ago, no matter how bitchin your perc screw is. I'm pretty confident they won't be raising prices to 2001 levels any time soon.
    There is no way companies are going to be able to afford to pay you, despite your awesomeness, your kick ass commission rate forever.
    I see Spine Reps of the future being nothing more than set filling monkeys making $75k yr. if there are even reps, which I'm pretty skeptical of any way.
    So, continue being your badass juiced up self. Me? I'd like to try and have a contingency plan for when things do go down the toilet.

    Crazy

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  12. Some are flipping burgers,
    some are selling now only barbecue sauce instead of Coflex

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  13. Nobody can argue that this blog hasn't turned to sh!t. It's pathetically cynical.

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  14. I'm not sure why you're ragging on Spinal Elements. Osteointegration benefits of titanium with the radiolucency and modulus of PEEK sounds like a pretty good idea to me. If you think its a bad idea because the big companies didn't do it first, then you aren't exactly a scholar of innovation.

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    1. Actually, Medtronic has submitted approvals for the same design. You should see them hit the market late 2013.

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    2. So has Integra. The coatings are too thin to get real bone growth.

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  15. sounds like an endorsement from someone at Spinal Elements doesn't it

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  16. I think Todd at Spinal Elements posted the 9:19AM comment....then I read the word he used "osteointegration"

    This made me say to my self - self that's not the Todd I know!

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  17. If y'all know how to do it so much better than the wienies you distribute for...why not just start your own spine companies? Put those years of saved up commissions to good use, invest in your own bought and owned inventory with a secure supply of re-stocks. Never worry about a territory cut again! Why leave all that fun to the POD's?

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  18. Forgive me if this is too far off topic. Does anybody know if Spine 360 is selling Verticor PEEK cages?

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  19. Is Josh "joe Pesci " Cronin the VP of sales at SE ?

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  20. 6:08 not it is Mitch White and he is a good dude!

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    1. ..thank you Mitch for the self assessment

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    2. the whole sales team and marketing team at SE are laughable

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    3. 8:02 clearly you are the laughable one and have spent no time working with them,if you have you would realize that they are one of the best companies to work with. I know I'm a distributor I do know.

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    4. no problem with distribution and field managers as none last more than a year or so. Problem lies elsewhere

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  21. Is Orthofix gearing up to sell to Zimmer?

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  23. Reading all this commentary begs to ask what Kelly Clarkson would say at a time like this...

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  24. What do dirk Kuyper and Stephen McMillan have in common?

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    1. Cracking up right now!!!

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  27. X-spine's Ti plasma coated peek is FDA approved and will be out Q1

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    1. more lipstick on another pig in the search for differentiation

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  28. The "Duke" is going down!!!!!

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  30. The efforts of the blog administrator are appreciated. With some cleanup of the idiots and slanderers, this might actually become a decent blog again.

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  32. Ban Paul Uribe from Spine, biggest POS Ever!!!!

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  33. Yeah, that Uribe is a joke. Tries to steal other people's lines, the funny part is he's the worst salesperson to walk this green earth. What a waste of life!

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    1. Kelly Clarkson will clean up spine.

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    3. Any salesman who would work in the spine industry is the worst salesman on earth. You all sell the same mostly worthless and oftern dangerous crap.

      Pot Kettle Black

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    4. Your argument is completely flawed.
      If selling great products is easy,
      then selling worthless and often dangerous crap is hard.
      Therefore those who have to sell worthless crap must be superior salesmen to be successful!
      So, anybody who doesn't work in the spine field but constantly posts on this blog is therefore a D-Bag.
      Mom get me some meatloaf!

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    5. Actually when all you are selling is greed to greedy orthopedic hackers and since you are all selling junk it's an even playing field.

      Since their are no great products being sold in the North American market they have you jackals fighting over the scraps as they flood the market with more and more me too junk and your sale directors have you peasants convinced that your company's is better than the competitors junk. You are just their to broker deals.

      The way I would sell your junk is by sending out catalogs news letters and order forms with another order form for a premium like an Ipod or a Hi Def TV that can be sent to a different address. That way you can offer a bribe without actually offering a bribe. The head of purchasing at a large orthopedic practice won't tell anyone, especially the competition or his partners what he's doing and you will get order after order simply be selling crap that you can almost buy at a hardware store.

      After I left the ministry I got into sales and did very well offering elective bribes.

      The products I sold were actually high quality products made by ethical companies as was the competition. I would need an airsick bag if I worked in the medical device industry.

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    6. Yes, but can you take a dump that is so big you have to break it in half to get it to flush? I have and would love to post a pic to show you how bad I crush you. Your dumps are probably little pellets like a goat.

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  35. Trolls. Looks like TSB will have to start blocking IP address' or watch the blog continue to circle the bowl. It appears 1 out of every 10 comments has any real substantive value. I would bet, however, that there are only a handful of actual jokers and blocking their address would refocus the blog.

    No more Kelly Clarkson, toilet talking, metrosexual, suck it comments.

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  36. I think it's time for serious consolidation in the spine industry; too many middlemen, me-too's, and next greatest flops.

    It would give TSB less to talk about, but then....

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  37. TSB would always have something to talk about, TSB has us, and as long as we are doing the shady deals that we were taught at Blackstone, Big wheels keep on turning

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    1. You were a Blackstone rep? Did you blow all of your docs for business?

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  38. TSB, Why all the censoring? Were they extolling the deliciousness of Chik-Fil-A sandwiches?

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    1. Yeah like the current retard VP could possibly be better. Can't wait for the debate!

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  41. When is Globus going public?

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  42. One man's innovation is another man's expectation. I think Kelly Clarkson said that when she was with the 70's supergroup Ambrosia, and it's still true today. Innovation always becomes the expectation, turns into a commodity, then becomes obsolete when new innovation becomes the standard. The smart phone is now the expectation, it will become obsolete like the flip phone, the brick phone, the bag phone and the home phone. Innovation always comes, but it won't come in your box, it comes all over the outside of your box....and possibly in your hair. Then again, I could be wrong, I like to eat crayons because of all the pretty colors....When will I learn?

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    1. Post of the Year.

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    3. This guys posts are the only reason I keep coming back to this blog. But I thought Kelly Clarkson played the cowbell for Blue Oyster Cult...now I am confused...


      SUCK IT! Everyone except, MSM, the guy who posted about Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Pot, and now this guy (who may very well be the Honey Pot dude.)

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  44. Paul Uribe?? You mean Paul Urloser!! What a joke, he's pushing spinal elements to a doc who already uses spinal elements. Lol

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  45. I heard the guy that started this blog is a punk bitch. He started it to trash the people who fired him.

    I bet that punk bitch takes this posting down

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    1. Another tough guy heading for the spine cemetery.

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    3. I wish someone could post a pic of that on this blog.

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  46. I never saw an answer for the Stephen McMillan question or was that posting removed too?

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