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Steam/moist heat sterilization, despite being the oldest method, is still the most preferred in a healthcare setting due to its ease of use and low costs as compared to low temperature sterilization. The most frequently used chemicals for sterilization include ethylene oxide and hydrogen peroxide. E-beam and low-temperature hydrogen peroxide gas plasma (LTHPGP) sterilization techniques are gaining popularity over conventional methods due to various advantages conferred by them.
The sterilization services industry has been growing at a healthy growth rate in the past decade. There has been a rise in stringent regulations regarding sterilization imposed by authorities in several developed nations, and this has led to companies outsourcing their sterilization activities to third parties; this is also referred to as contract sterilization services. This trend has helped OEMs of medical devices to reduce their costs substantially.
The major players in the contract sterilization market are Steris Isomedix (U.S.), Sterigenics (U.S.), Synergy Health (U.K.), Medivators (U.S.), and Nordion (Canada), with Synergy leading the pack. The in-house sterilization market will grow faster than contract sterilization in the near future, as the acceptability of technologies like VHP and H2O2 gas plasma, which are employed in a captive (in-house) facility, will increase.
The U.S. constitutes the largest market for sterilization, followed by Europe, and Asia. The Asian market is expected to display favorable growth in the coming years, primarily due to rise in awareness, growth of aging population, increase in number of surgeries, and growth in per capita income.
The major players in the equipment market are Steris Corporation (U.S.), Getinge AB (Sweden), Advanced Sterilization Products (U.S.), 3M (U.S.) and Belimed (Switzerland).
Two lots of Pfizer's antidepressant drug Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) are being recalled because they may contain capsules of another drug called Tikosyn (dofetilide).More >>
Two lots of Pfizer's antidepressant drug Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) are being recalled because they may contain capsules of another drug called Tikosyn (dofetilide), which is used to treat heart rhythm disorders.More >>