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Originally Posted by billy11
No way, third party suppliers do a great service to the NHS bringing the big boys in to line on pricing.
Easy for a small company to copy something and sell it at a lower price without having to spend vast amounts of money on R&D, regulatory requirements and registration, while maintaining device vigilance and support for the life of the device. Maybe you want these suppliers to copy the who unit and sell it at a lower cost? If so it won't take long before there are no new designs to be found and the quality and regulatory elements would lead to sub-standard medical devices.

Originally Posted by billy11
People that claim we should stick to the manufacturers parts clearly have no confidence in their ability to test and determine suitability.

Could it be those purchasing third party parts have over confidence in their ability, as they have been blinded by the monetary element? Maybe the parts are suitable and safe but if something does go wrong be sure someone else has singed off on the use of such parts. After all you need to ask yourself if you want to spend time in prison to enable someone else to meet their budget!

Just a thought but maybe those high prices you have to pay for the OEM products and parts is as a result of you buying third party items, and the OEM compensating for your actions wink

Originally Posted by Geoff Hannis
Are we saying that the (many) suppliers of non-OEM items (batteries, cuffs, probes at al) are trading illegally?
Providing they are not infringing any copyright probably not. A lot would hinge on the claims they made for the item and if they really met the regulatory requirements for the item conformity mark. It would be up to the purchaser to determine if the company really did meet all the requirements stated. You may have tested a part and determined it was compatible and safe but did you check out the company making the part to see if they really meet all the requirements (e.g. are they registered with the MHRA, ISO 13485, ISO 14971, etc.)?

Umi #75970 12/01/21 11:10 AM
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Its a difficult subject and a lot of loose ends as to what is modifying and what is not. What this pandemic has shown (alongside Brexit and the port hold ups) is that without these smaller suppliers to offer parts we would be screwed. The problem with the big companies is that they often run a one size fits all business whereby one giant factory/warehouse makes or holds all of the stock and then whether or not you are a "contracted customer" is whether or not you receive your goods/repair in a timely fashion. I have used non OEM suppliers throughout this pandemic and they have done incredible things. One in particular has better quality testing evidence than the OEM has. They have also gone that bit further and delivered it much quicker than their competitor. We are now hearing that certain items/consumables are held up in ports due to the back log and cant get an estimated date for these items. However the smaller business has sufficient supply. Without these non OEM businesses i think things in the UK would be worse, if that is possible.


30 years since the Chernobyl disaster and yet we still have no super heroes or zombies.
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Originally Posted by MikeX
Maybe you want these suppliers to copy the who[le] unit and sell it at a lower cost?
Does anyone seriously think this hasn't already being going on (for years)? What about all those "look alike" ECGs and Patient Monitors etc. coming out of China? What "international standards" do they adhere to, by the way?

@Dustcap: competition (as in, free trade) is always a good thing; it drives innovation, and keeps prices low. In my opinion, the NHS needs more of it (in every regard), not less.

If our present predicament has taught us anything (you know, as in "lessons shall be learned") it must surely be that "global supply chains" and "just-in-time" work flows are the (obvious) pinch-points that many of us always said they were.


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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I would suggest that the high prices charged by OEM for consumables is due to the fact that they are acting as re-sellers of said items, can't see Mr Philips, GE et al can be bothered with their manufacture.

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Its when you pay £35 pounds for a battery from an OEM and it comes in an RS bag and actually cost £3.50p, oh and £10 delivery.


30 years since the Chernobyl disaster and yet we still have no super heroes or zombies.
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@ Malcolm: Indeed. I should imagine that a lot of the stuff is made in the same shed (er, factory)*, and then badged accordingly. Not to mention application of the famous (and seemingly all-important) CE mark (sticker).

The Big Boys probably take the first n thousand of each production run. After that, the various minnow get to make their bids, I expect.

@ Dustcap: yes. That's the "stocking charge", apparently (handling charge, whatever). Or maybe it's just a case of:- they are allowed to use RS ... but you can't.

* Who is, of course, the de-facto OEM.


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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Hi Mike,
"Its about choosing the correct properly rated equivalent part" but do you really have the information and knowledge/skill to make this decision?"

I would only approve the use of a spare part or accessory where I do have the knowledge to make the decision (and have done so many many times throughout my career). If I was unsure, I would use the OEM part or accessory.


Be Proactive and reactive.
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As I stated I will judge by experience and results, no trips to court, no adverse incidents within my trust reported to MRHA due to non OEM parts failures, no adverse results to patients proven. Tested many 3rd party probes on the Lightman and some perform better than the OEM. I for one will continue to use these parts.

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Aha! The Lightman. Is it still around?

For background, see McMahon and (or) Clarkson.

Meanwhile, the original post mentioned CTG ultrasound and toco transducers ... what's the preferred method of testing those these days, I wonder?

Lastly, I'm surprised that no-one has yet mentioned that other "third-party" domain:- lamps (there used to be - and hopefully still are - whole catalogues devoted to "medical lamps").


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
Umi #75982 13/01/21 11:29 AM
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Huge savings can be made on lamps Geoff.
Especially for Cold Light Sources.


Be Proactive and reactive.
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