Synthes Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Synthes is the recognized market leader in orthopedic implants, the U.S., with 50% market share in the metal plates, rods and screws to secure heavy bone fractures. Synthes is a virtual force due to its sales force and the quality and reliability of its products. The main disadvantage of all metal implants, however, is that they often have to be removed after the bones have healed. To solve this problem, several large competitors have recently introduced a polymer-based "bioresorbable" implants. In theory, these new implants are rigid, and the destruction of treats, then gradually dissolve, eliminating the need for removal. In reality, however, some of these new implants have proven problematic - causing infection, incomplete healing, or need for a second operation. This leaves Synthes debating whether to enter the market and bioresorbable product failure risk loud or remain the observer and allow others to test the market and eventually check (or disprove) the concept. "Hide
by John T. Gourville Source: Harvard Business School 18 pages. Publication Date: December 14, 2001. Prod. #: 502008-PDF-ENG

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