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News

Medtronic welcomes Meniere’s disease guidance

Medtronic : 11 April, 2008  (Company News)
The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery has approved a policy statement concluding that the use of micropressure for Meniere’s disease including the Medtronic Meniett device is appropriate when other medical treatments fail.
In the policy statement both the Equilibrium Committee and Board of Directors concluded that, “there is convincing and well-controlled medical evidence to support the use of micropressure therapy (such as the Meniett device) in certain cases of Meniere’s disease. Micropressure therapy is best used as a second level therapy when medical treatment has failed. The device represents a largely non-surgical therapy that should be available as one of the many treatments for Meniere’s disease.”

“This is a large step forward from the Board and Equilibrium Committee at the Academy,” said Mark Fletcher, president of the ENT business at Medtronic. “With this new policy statement in place, we can now show that the medical community considers the Meniett a widely accepted and approved therapy in certain cases of Meniere’s disease, allowing us to work toward removing the ‘investigational’ label that many insurance carriers have on the therapy.”

Approximately 2.6 million people in the USA and Europe (Ref 1) suffer from Meniere’s disease, a disorder associated with excess fluid in the inner ear. This complex disease is characterized by vertigo in combination with hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and pressure in the ear. The origin is unknown and there is no cure, which makes managing the disease difficult when symptoms are severe. Unpredictable vertigo attacks with nausea and vomiting can be very debilitating, with patients unable to work or perform routine activities (Ref 2).

Ref 1 - Stahle J, Stahle C, Arenberg IK. The incidence of Meniere’s disease. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1978;104:99-102.

Ref 2 - Anderson JP and Harris JP. Impact of Meniere’s disease on quality of life. Otol Neurotol. 2001;22:888-894.
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