Medtech industry lobbying group AdvaMed will maintain its focus on pursuing a full repeal of the medical device tax, no matter what form the repeal takes, according to newly appointed AdvaMed chair and CVRx prez & CEO Nadim Yared.
Yared, who was appointed to his position early last week, said the organization “is not in a position to propose where to tie in” a repeal of the tax, and that whatever form the repeal comes, the group will “probably take it.”
“In general, the guiding principal we are walking with right now is to ensure that we have a medical device tax repeal, no matter what form. Whether it’s in the healthcare reform bill, the tax reform bill or a stand alone bill, or any other form the house and senate will propose to us, we will consider it seriously and probably take it. We are not in a position to propose where to tie in, right now, the medical device excise tax repeal bill,” Yared said in a conference today.
The reauthorization of user fees is next on the agenda for the group, Yared said, with negotiations already underway, well ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline.
“Regarding the reauthorization of user fees, the industry and the FDA negotiated a very good deal for MDUFA 4, one that benefits patients, the agency and innovation. We remain committed to the medical device user fee agreement as negotiated, which represents a substantial investment of fees which will help improve the review process and get new medical technologies to patients in need. We just had hearings in both the House and Senate on MDUFA, and Congress has planned to wrap up their work long before the Sept. 30 deadline for reauthorization. We urge congress to move quickly on this reauthorization so that the progress at the FDA can continue uninterrupted,” Yared said.
Yared also said they would continue to work with the FDA as they continue to implement the 21st century cures act.
While the group supports expanding the resources of the FDA and other agencies, AdvaMed has “no comment” on the incoming budget from the Trump Administration and its proposed cuts to the NIH and other organizations Yared said.
“We don’t claim that we have the answers yet, we have not had the time to analyze all of the proposals. I wish we had received a more detailed schedule of the budget proposals,” Yared said. “We are for increasing the resources in the government agencies, particularly the FDA, to help us deliver the innovative products that we need to deliver. That will be our focus. I’m sorry, we cannot comment on the budget since we have not yet seen the details and do not know what the house or senate will counter with.”
AdvaMed split from other healthcare groups earlier this month by throwing its support behind the GOP-backed Trumpcare bill solely to see the medical device tax repealed. The legislation was pulled last week after it failed to gain enough support to pass the GOP-controlled house.
The 2.3% excise tax on U.S. medical device sales was enacted along with the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and went into effect in 2013. A 2-year moratorium put in place in 2015 is slated to expire at the end of this year; proponents of repealing the tax were hopeful that the repeal-and-replace legislation that failed last week would put a permanent nail in the levy’s coffin.
The group may still have a chance to see the tax repealed this year, however. Despite House Republicans’ insistence that any taxes associated with Obamacare – including the medical device tax – won’t be part of the negotiations over tax reform, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that the overall tax package could include the repeal of taxes put in place by the Affordable Care Act.
Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, put the Obamacare tax repeal back on the table – either as part of the tax reform negotiations or a revised healthcare reform bid.
“Either, as far as I’m concerned,” Hatch said. “Any way we can get rid of those, I think it’d be a good thing,”