Devices & Diagnostics

Putting the squeeze on device makers and pharmas (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including medical device companies feel pricing pressure from cost-cutting hospitals, pharmaceutical companies continue to be target for cuts, and the VA underestimates interest in its Blue Button electronic medical records program.

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The pressure’s on med device companies… 70 percent of hospitals report they would try cheaper alternatives to the brand-name devices and products they use in trauma and other hospital departments, a new survey from Premier Inc. says. That’s just one example of the pricing squeeze being put on medical device companies as hospitals feel the pressure to cut costs. And, with patients facing increased out-of-pocket expenses and putting off surgeries, sales of implantable medical devices are expected to drop.

…and on drug makers. The federal government, state governments and healthcare providers have been eyeing drug cuts for several months now, hoping they would reduce the need to cut health spending elsewhere, like in the form of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. The American Action Forums now says the industry would lose 230,000 U.S. jobs under President Obama’s jobs bill.

The Blue Button. The VA thought veterans wouldn’t be interested in using the Blue Button to download their personal health claims data, but turns out the VA was wrong. More than 430,000 veterans have used the program to access their health data.

$440M for life sciences. Amid news of waning life science fundraising, California-based Sofinnova announced that it raised a $440 million life science fund aimed at late-stage companies.

Par Pharma has sued the FDA, claiming off-label marketing rules impede on the company’s First Amendment rights to “provide truthful information” about its drug who many be interested in prescribing it to patients.