MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The medical device tax took effect at the start of 2013 over the objections of the industry, and a lack of GOP coordination during the fiscal cliff talks may have been partly to blame.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told reporters that Republicans in the House of Representatives sank efforts to repeal the medical device tax when they refused to supposed House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) fiscal cliff package.
And yet all is not lost. Fellow North Star State legislator Sen. Al Franken conceded that repealing the tax will be more difficult now that it has taken effect, but he’s not giving up the fight.
"You’d be naive to say [implementation of the tax] doesn’t make it harder [to repeal]," Franken told the Tribune. "But I want to meet with folks from the industry here in the state and talk about different ways of … providing evidence that this [tax] might be counterproductive."
TAVI: Edwards and Medtronic devices go head to head
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation devices by medical device giants and rivals Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) proved about the same at 30 days in a head-to-head trial, producing similar rates of adverse events and all-cause mortality, but Medtronic’s CoreValve resulted in a higher rate of permanent pacemaker implantation.
HHS releases new patient privacy rules
The Dept. of Health & Human Services released new patient privacy and security rules that "greatly enhances a patient’s privacy protections, provides individuals new rights to their health information, and strengthens the government’s ability to enforce the law."
FDA OKs Botox in treatment of overactive bladder
The FDA expanded approval for popular cosmetic treatment Botox to treat adults with overactive bladder, indicating Botox for treatment by injection into the bladder muscle in efforts to cause the muscle to relax and increase the bladder’s storage capacity.