Medical device tax is gone for two years--who wins?

In 2014, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) paid $180 million in device tax payments, Medtronic ($MDT) paid $112 million, Covidien $60 million, Smith & Nephew ($SNN) $25 million and C.R. Bard ($BCR) $3.5 million. Smaller companies, many of whom are unprofitable and struggling to survive, had the most difficult time absorbing the 2.3% excise tax, according to proponents of repeal, who finally succeeded in getting the tax suspended for two years. "It's welcome news, especially for the multitude of smaller companies in this industry," said Bruce Carlson, the publisher of Kalorama Information, in a statement. "A top 20 device company can pay tens of millions and post a note in their annual report. A small company with one device needs all monies from their sales. Small device companies are often funded by venture capital, least able to raise price or find a partner to merge with, and companies where the two point three was critical operating funds." Release

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