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UK's NICE recommends Axonics' device to treat overactive bladders

The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc.'s rechargeable wireless device for treating overactive bladders.

About 19% of the U.K.'s population has an overactive bladder, according to NICE. The disorder's symptoms include needing to pass urine frequently with or without an uncontrollable urge, with women and the elderly the most affected.

Axonics' implant is the first rechargeable sacral neuromodulation system to be approved for sale in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia.

The U.K. agency gave the nod to the company's sacral neuromodulation implant to treat patients with issues related to urinary retention. The device stimulates nerves associated with bladder function with electric current via an electrode attached to an implantable pulse generator and aims to make the bladder work in a more controllable way.

NICE said the device costs about £9,660. Current data indicates that the implant's battery will last for about six years before it needs to be replaced, but there is some evidence to suggest it could last as long as 15 years, the agency added.

The agency's cost modeling suggests that the device becomes cost saving compared with the current non-rechargeable system at the six-year mark. Assuming a 15-year life span for the implant, NICE believes the implant has the potential to save the National Health Service around £6,200 per patient.