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