Are medical devices overpriced?

It turns out that medical devices, like pharmaceuticals, can be very expensive and their actual prices and costs are also shrouded in mystery. The medical device market is a lot like the pharmaceutical market. Medical devices are an excellent example of a relative handful of manufacturers exploiting a captive market with excessively high list prices. They are often purchased by doctors and reimbursed through health insurance rather than through a prescription drug benefit.

According to the European Commission's report on EU medical devices, data from competitive bidding demonstration projects show that the durable medical equipment (DME) market inflates prices by between 20 and 25 per cent. The FDA classifies medical devices according to the risk they pose to patients, with Class I being the least risky and Class III the most risky. We use the supplies in this study, most of which are medical devices, as a proxy for all medical devices. The report, entitled Lack of Price Transparency May Hamper Hospitals' Ability to Be Prudent Purchasers of Implantable Medical Devices, examined the purchasing history of 60 hospitals and found that some paid much more than others for the same device.

After stories about patient safety went viral, the FDA expressed interest in modernising the regulation of medical devices. They argue that the high cost of medical devices encourages companies to continue to pursue technological advances, which in turn can help save lives. Due to the lack of clinical studies, medical devices may be overused or used in the wrong population. These policymakers might consider that the United States spends far more per capita on medical devices than the world's second largest purchaser of medical devices, Japan, or the third largest, Germany (Table 5).

Bowers, Simon, Doctors Demand to See Medical Device Safety Evidence in Europe, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Nov. It acknowledges that, in addition to hospitals, data from outpatient medical centres and physician groups would be needed for a more comprehensive analysis. In addition to new regulations focusing on safety and efficacy, the presence of medical device sales representatives in the supplier environment should be regulated to prevent overselling.

Jonathon Lavelett
Jonathon Lavelett

Friendly food buff. Proud web aficionado. Passionate pizza lover. Award-winning twitter fan. Friendly coffee guru. Hardcore foodaholic.