TransEnterix, Inc. (NYSE American: TRXC), a medical device company that is pioneering the use of robotics to improve minimally invasive surgery, today announced that Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) expert review panel provided reimbursement for procedures performed with the Senhance Surgical System.
The reimbursement, which became effective on July 31, 2019, applies to 98 benign and malignant laparoscopic procedures across general, colorectal, gynecologic, bariatric and urologic surgeries at reimbursement rates equivalent to traditional laparoscopy in Category A1. The Senhance received regulatory approval from the Japanese MHLW on May 22, 2019.
“We are extremely pleased to have obtained reimbursement in Japan, which represents another critical milestone as we work to drive adoption of the Senhance globally,” said Todd M. Pope, TranEnterix President and CEO. “We view Japan as a significant opportunity as it is the world’s second-largest surgical robotics market, and we will continue to work to put our commercial infrastructure in place to support a successful commercial launch.”
Japan is the second-largest medical device market in the world, valued at over $40 billion annually, including over $5 billion in capital equipment spending. There are more than 8,400 hospitals in Japan, of which approximately 80% are private entities. Japanese laparoscopic penetration in surgery is among the highest in the world. The central government has implemented cost containment initiatives in recent years and has approached recent procedure approvals for robotics by establishing reimbursement at the same rate as traditional laparoscopy, which places a high emphasis on procedure cost to influence adoption.