I haven't posted anything on the innovation crisis in the US in awhile but rest assured it's still kicking.
We're used to hearing about the devastating effect of the medical device excise tax, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Sunshine Act is also being targeted. The Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which is designed to govern the relationships between physicians and medical device makers, is set to take effect on August 1, 2013, and it will require medtech manufacturers to disclose their relationships with physicians. While this act is likely to instill more confidence in patients using the devices, the medtech industry, of course, believes that tight guidelines could squish innovation, particularly among physician-owned startups.

Interestingly though, I recently came across a few articles that paint a relatively rosy picture for innovation in medtech so far. For example, this Thomson Reuters report called out the medical device industry for the fastest growth in innovation (measured by patent activity) between 2010 and 2012. Medical devices were ranked 6th overall for the volume of patent activity. Medical devices were just a bit behind pharmaceuticals in 5th place pharmaceuticals had 60,890 patents in 2012 compared to 60,300 for medical devices. This article from MD+DI also discusses how R&D spending increased in medtech in 2010 and 2011, although it cautions that the growth rates were lower than pre-recession levels and that the excise tax might also have a negative effect (no surprise there). But I do think that it's a positive point that innovation in medtech has so far been on the increase maybe the worst these new rules can do is flatten the growth rate a bit, without bending the curve downward.

We'll have to wait for 2013 numbers to know for sure.

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