MedTech Association Joins Call for Medical-Device Tax Repeal

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Source: Central New York Business Journal

Syracuse–based MedTech Association is among the organizations urging Congress to repeal the medical-device excise tax.

MedTech signed a letter to Congressional leadership along with nearly 1,000 medical-technology companies, research advocates, and physician groups, the organization said in a news release issued Thursday.

MedTech is an organization representing more than 100 New York pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical-technology companies; their suppliers and service providers; and research universities.

Manufacturers of medical technology are required to pay a 2.3 percent excise tax on products ranging from surgical tools to insulin pumps and x-ray machines.

The tax, which took effect in January 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), is “hurting” medical research, innovation, job creation, and the overall delivery of patient care, MedTech contends.

The groups are sending the letter as both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have introduced legislation to repeal the “onerous” tax, MedTech said.

Lawmakers will consider the House bill, “Protection Medical Innovation Act of 2015,” and the Senate bill, “Medical Device Access and Innovation Protection Act.”

MedTech, which advocates for nearly 350 medical-technology companies in New York, “urges” lawmakers to repeal the tax for several reasons, Jessica Crawford, president of MedTech Association, said in the news release.

“The medical device industry plays a vital role in the New York economy, especially upstate New York where it employs 8,400 residents. Without repeal of the device tax, the state’s industry position is in real danger, as well as the upstate New York economy. This is especially true in the Central New York and Capital regions, where the bioscience and medical-technology industry is highly concentrated and any impacts are particularly felt,” said Crawford.

In its news release, MedTech provided statistics that it contends show the medical-technology industry “an important engine for economic growth in the United States.”

Medical-technology companies employ more than 400,000 workers nationwide, generating about $25 billion in payroll.

They pay employee salaries that are nearly 40 percent more than the national average ($58,000 vs. $42,000) and annually invest nearly $10 billion in research and development.

The industry includes small companies, 80 percent of which employ fewer than 50 employees, according to MedTech.

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