AdvaMed: Medical device prices have plunged

Drug-eluting stents, artificial knee implants and other devices have become a lot cheaper since 2007, AdvaMed found in a new study.

AdvaMed CEO Stephen Ubl told Bloomberg that the results have proved once again that med tech isn't behind healthcare price hikes in the U.S. He suggested that the data may aide trade group's ongoing push to repeal the 2.3% medical device industry tax, which kicked in this year to help fund the Affordable Care Act. Ubl continues to argue that the excise tax, and Affordable Care Act-related payment cuts for laboratory tests, imaging services and durable medical equipment hamper efforts to grow jobs and develop innovative products.

Among the study's conclusions: Average inflation-adjusted prices for the 7 biggest medical device categories dropped from 2007 through 2011. Prices for drug-coated stents plunged 34%, and artificial knees fell 17% over that same period, to name two examples. The trend has taken place as hospitals have increasingly turned to tighter spending controls. Medical device prices continue at less than 50% of the pace of inflation in the overall U.S. economy, Ubl told Bloomberg.

The inflation-adjusted price drops affect products made by companies including Boston Scientific ($BSX), Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), Medtronic ($MDT), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Zimmer ($ZMH) and Stryker ($STK), among others, Bloomberg notes.

AdvaMed said it would release the full report at noon on Sept. 23 at the trade group's 2013 annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

- read the Bloomberg story

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