Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott celebrated the Fourth of July by exercising his right to freedom of speech. Three days after an attempt to repeal the medical device excise tax stalled out, Elliott wrote an opinion piece in the Minneapolis StarTribune calling for Congress to “immediately repeal the medical device tax included in the year-old national health care law.”
Elliott’s reasoning: Device companies create well-paying jobs, which are sorely needed as Minnesota—a hotbed of device innovation—and the rest of the country struggle to recover from the recession. The 2.3% excise tax, he says, will cost device companies millions of dollars that would otherwise be used for research and development. Less R&D means fewer R&D jobs, he reasons.
The StarTribune also published an opinion piece by perhaps a future device company executive. Drew Page became familiar with the problems of the 510(k) process through a class at Wayzata High School, from which he graduated just this year. In his piece, Page lambasted FDA for what he calls its “risk-averse approach to the 510(k) program.” If it’s not reformed, he argues, the U.S. will lose its place as the world leader in device innovation, jobs will jump overseas, and small companies will disappear.
If I worked in the HR department at a medical device company, I’d be offering that kid an internship.