Indiana medical device manufacturers are reportedly hopeful that a bill that is currently being considered by the United States Senate will pass without a presidential veto. The proposed Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act would repeal a 2.3 percent tax that is currently imposed on surgical tools, bed pans, IVs, orthopedic implants, and many other medical devices. The bill was introduced in January by U.S. Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly. It is apparently enjoying widespread bipartisan support in the Senate, and some believe the proposal is also likely to pass the House of Representatives.
Currently, over 300 medical device manufacturing companies employ approximately 20,000 people in the State of Indiana. In addition, about 28,000 others are employed in positions that support the industry. Rather than being applied to a company’s profits, the tax is imposed on each device manufacturer’s total sales. According to some manufacturers, the tax has strained business, resulted in plant closures and layoffs, and slowed potential growth. Many manufacturers claim they chose not to hire additional workers due to the tax.
The medical device tax now imposed provides billions of dollars in funding to the Affordable Care Act. Despite this, proponents of the bill state they are not trying to dismantle the health care law. Instead, they claim the tax is simply unnecessary. In support of their position, some cite a recent Congressional Budget Office report that states the Affordable Care Act will cost over $100 billion less than expected over the next decade.
Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers are in business to make money. Across many industries, pressure to increase profits can result in dangerous or defectively manufactured products that do not perform as intended. Unfortunately, a patient’s life may be on the line when that product is a medical device or prescription drug.
Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approval does not mean a prescription drug or medical device is safe for everyone to use. In fact, many drug companies market their products for off-label use. This means a medication is sold for a medical purpose that was not approved by the FDA. Before you agree to have a medical device implanted in your body, it is important to educate yourself about the potential risks and side effects. In addition, patients should research a new drug or medical device online and read any information that is enclosed with the product. It is also important for medical consumers to consider underlying health problems before agreeing to use a medical device.
If you were injured by a defectively designed or manufactured medical product, you may have a products liability claim against the company that produced it. To discuss your right to recover damages with a knowledgeable Merrillville personal injury lawyer, call Theodoros & Rooth, P.C. at (219) 212-2462 or contact us through our website.
Medical device makers in Indiana pursuing repeal of tax, by Christin Nance Lazerus, Chicago Tribune