Posted on October 04, 2017
There's been significant rumors of loosening with Depuy's Attune Knee System over the last two years and they are only intensifying.
According to a study published earlier this year, the Attune system is experiencing an “unusually high” rate of early failure related to its tibial components. MassDevice wrote about this study and we originally shared the rumors in a blog post in July of 2016.
It appears Depuy is ready to hit back as they have compiled a presentation refuting the rumors with data and a sneak peak at their new Attune S+ technology.
Depuy is clearly aware of the rumors as this presentation addresses each of the objections they've been hearing. It's almost like the marketing department has been taking notes of the rumors on the different medical sales forums.
After reviewing the presentation, it's not hard to believe it was created for sales reps to help them address objections with customers who have experienced loosening issues with Attune.
Marketing probably created it with help (hopefully) from sales reps in an effort to educate the reps and give them talking points when surgeons address these concerns with them.
In what appears to be a more likely scenario, the presentation is meant to help educate reps who've lost cases with surgeons because of revisions, etc the surgeons have experienced with Attune.
The presentation focuses on the breadth of data linked to Attune. Depuy has been tweeting about the strength of Attune's data for months.
The presentation references the study above and many others.
There are a couple of items in the presentation that probably make the sales reps shake their heads in disbelief. The last thing a sales rep wants is to come across like they are questioning a surgeons technique or patient selection.
This presentation addresses both of those.
A good sales manager will walk their sales team through the presentation and make sure they do not make the mistake of blaming any Attune failures on the surgeon. However, you have to wonder why the slides are even in the presentation.
Those are the kind of slides meant for basic sales training, not an objection handling deck.
It's slides like these that make you wonder if the sales reps were given a chance to provide input before it was published. It also makes sales reps believe the marketing department is out of touch, like maybe they are sitting around the coffee machine denying there is a problem with Attune, and instead, the surgeons are the problem because they are not selecting their patients with proper criteria or using the right cementing technique.
Accurate or not, this is how sales reps look at marketing departments and internal employees who do not have experience in the field. It's been going on in medical device companies for years.
There is a disconnect and denying there are issues with a product that a sales rep is trying to sell only makes it worse. Pointing out things like patient selection only intensify it because those same marketing employees don't actually have to give the message to customer. The sales reps do.
Attune S+ Technology
The presentation also introduces Depuy's new Attune S+ Technology which is meant to enhance cement fixation.
There should always be new and improved product iterations and the expectation with Attune should be no different. However, the timing of this is suspect and there will be questions of the timing from surgeons and others.
Take a look at the presentation and decide for yourself.