Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation by Inspire Medical Systems Inc has been approved for inclusion in the Government Services Administration Federal Supply Schedule. The agreement enables access to Inspire therapy to patients cared for at Veteran Administration hospitals, military treatment facilities, and Indian Health Services hospitals. Inspire therapy is an FDA-approved implantable device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), one out of every five war veterans has been diagnosed with OSA—compared with only five out of 100 civilians in the general population. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of veterans who received medical benefits related to sleep apnea grew by 61%, from 39,145 cases in 2008 to 63,118 cases in 2010.
“With this approval, military personnel and veterans with sleep apnea who are unable to use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure will now have access to Inspire therapy and hopefully a better night’s sleep,” says Tim Herbert, CEO of Inspire Medical Systems, in a release. “We are very proud of this achievement and happy that many veterans and military personnel will be able to benefit from Inspire therapy.”
In contrast to CPAP, Inspire therapy works inside the body and with a patient’s natural breathing process. The implantable system includes a small generator, a sensing lead and a stimulation lead. Turned on by a handheld remote, it delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which keeps the airway open during sleep. Inspire therapy is approved to treat a subset of people with moderate to severe OSA who are unable to use CPAP therapy.
The Tampa VA is the first VA hospital to offer Inspire therapy. Several more VA and military hospitals are expected to complete training and offer Inspire therapy in the second half of 2015.