Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hsieh Forbes OpEd: The Federal Government's War On Medical Innovation

Forbes has published my latest OpEd, "The Federal Government's War On Medical Innovation".

I discuss how the government is hampering the development of life-saving medical technology through two methods: new taxes and FDA regulation.

Here is the opening;
The federal government is waging a stealth two-pronged war on medical innovation. And it will cost not just American jobs, but American lives.
The first prong is through new taxes. Recently, the Cook Medical company announced that it was canceling plans to open new factories because of the impending ObamaCare tax on medical device manufacturers scheduled to take effect in 2013. The 2.3% tax on total sales (not profits) will cost Cook $20 million dollars a year. As a result, the company will not be opening five plants that would have employed up to 300 people each.
Cook is not the only medical device company affected by the tax. Stryker (which makes artificial joints) will cut 5% of its workforce. Medtronic has announced the tax will cut into its investments in future products. Jonathan Rennert, chairman of Zoll Medical (which makes advanced cardiac defibrillators) has stated that the tax will mean “less innovation, fewer jobs, and fewer lives saved.”
The second prong of the war on innovation is through regulations...
I'd especially like to thank Cynthia for allowing me to quote her response to the FDA official who admitted to delaying the approval of digital mammography machines.

(Read the full text of "The Federal Government's War On Medical Innovation".)