Medical device makers are looking to their state regulators to help offset the burden of a new federal tax.
National medtech lobby AdvaMed joined forces with the State Medical Technology Alliance, a network of state-based industry groups, to develop state-level regulatory policies that they believe "foster an environment of growth and patient access to the latest in medical innovation."
"America’s medical technology companies support 2 million jobs nationwide," AdvaMed president & CEO Stephen Ubl said in prepared remarks. "The U.S. is the global leader in the development of medical technology but that leadership is eroding."
"And yet, there are positive steps states can take to attract companies and, at the same time, improve patient access to life-enhancing technologies," he added.
The effort was led in part by Michigan medical device group MichBio, which includes members Stryker (NYSE:SYK) and Terumo Corp. (TYO:4543), and joined by the Indiana Medical Device Manufacturers Council, which represents such Hoosier State companies as Zimmer (NYSE:ZMH) and Cook Medical.
The efforts aim to partially offset some of the burden of the 2.3% medical devices sales tax that took effect at the start of 2013, the 1st payments for which were due at the end of January. Lawmakers from both the Senate and the House of Representatives last week issued bills that would repeal the tax.
"It’s a little disappointing that we have to try to fix the problems at the state level that get generated in Washington," Pennsylvania Bio president Christopher Molineaux told reporters at Indy Star news.
The tax, which is expected to generate about $30 billion over 10 years, will help fund some of the provisions of President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform bill.
The team of medical device industry groups released a handful of measures that states can take to create "a more favorable business climate and increased predictability for promising early-stage companies as well as established firms."
The so-called "State Medical Technology Competitiveness Agenda" (PDF) includes, among other things, deductions for companies facing a net operating loss; research & development tax credits; state-run venture capital funding; small-business grant-matching programs; state-level tax credits to help curb the impact of the federal levy; work force training grants; and predictable and consistent Medicaid reimbursement policies.
"AdvaMed’s State Medical Technology Competitiveness Agenda will help states retain and attract the kind of high-paying, high tech jobs that will fuel America’s economy in the 21st century," Ubl said in the press release. "We look forward to working with SMTA and state policymakers to implement these proposals and ensure the U.S. retains its competitive edge in medical innovation."