Late last month, Medtronic(Minneapolis) reported that it was cancelling several of its largest contracts with group purchasing organizations (GPOs) worth more than $2 billion collectively. Medtronic said the decision to cancel five contracts with Novation (Irving, Texas) and another with Premier(Charlotte, North Carolina) will save it about $60 million a year.
The recess appointment of Donald Berwick, MD, to the administrator’s position at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services(CMS) last July roiled many members of Congress, and a recentSenate letter to the Obama administration expressing disfavor for Berwick’s continued presence at CMS may have finally lain to rest any chance that he had of a successful confirmation hearing.
Patent reform legislation has been in the news quite a bit the past few weeks in the U.S., with both chambers of Congress working on legislation that could affect the way patents are currently registered.
In January when the FDA unveiled its 25-point plan to change the 510(k) clearance program, currently the quickest and most commonly used pathway to getting a medical device to market in the U.S., it appeared that a smooth landing might be in the works for the med-tech industry. That landing, however, was deferred, saddling the program with one of the greatest annoyances to any airline passenger, the dreaded holding pattern, when it was revealed that 30 other more controversial recommendations from the FDA working groups were being delayed.