New Study Finds Slow Rate of Growth in Overall Medical Technology Prices

Highlights Competitive Nature of Industry

Feb 13, 2008, 00:00 ET from AdvaMed

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AdvaMed, the Advanced
 Medical Technology Association, today released an important new study that
 demonstrates the slow rate in growth in overall prices in the highly
 competitive medical technology sector.
     The study's author, Roland Guy King, former chief actuary for Medicare
 and Medicaid, and Gerald F. Donahoe, found that medical technology is a
 relatively small and constant share of total national health expenditures
     "The report's findings are significant in light of recent comments by
 some suggesting policies to limit the diffusion of and access to advanced
 medical technology in response to cost pressures. Simply put, medical
 technology is part of the solution to managing health care expenses and
 limiting patient access to life-saving, life-enhancing technologies
 compromises patient health and may actually increase costs," said Edward J.
 Ludwig, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, BD and Board
 Chairman, AdvaMed.
     "The innovative and competitive nature of the medical technology sector
 benefits patients by providing continual improvements in care," said
 Michael A. Mussallem, Chairman and CEO, Edwards Lifesciences, Chairman,
 AdvaMed Board Committee on Payment and Healthcare Delivery, and AdvaMed's
 Board Chairman-Elect. "This study shows that there is also an economic
 benefit of competition due to the relatively slow rate of growth in overall
 industry prices."
     "The report's findings are clear: the highly competitive medical device
 marketplace is working and delivering tremendous value both in patient care
 and in economic terms. Policies that stifle innovation, interfere in the
 marketplace or limit access to care threaten that success," said Stephen J.
 Ubl, president and CEO of AdvaMed.
     In 2004, the latest year studied, spending on medical devices and in
 vitro diagnostics totaled $112 billion or 6 percent of total NHE, and has
 stayed relatively constant at that modest proportion for the last 15 years.
 During that same period, overall medical device prices grew far more slowly
 than either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for medical services or the CPI
     The report also found that during the 15-year period studied, medical
 device prices have increased at an average annual rate of only 1.2 percent
 compared to 5 percent for the Medical Consumer Price Index (MCPI) and 2.8
 percent for the CPI.
     "Medical device prices, on average, have grown at less than half the
 rate of the overall CPI and less than one-quarter the rate of other medical
 goods and services. Medical technology is clearly delivering tremendous
 value to American patients," said Ubl.
     As the report notes, "This relatively slow rate of price increase
 suggests that the industry is highly competitive."
     Please visit AdvaMed's Web site at to see a copy of the
     AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic
 products and health information systems that are transforming health care
 through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more
 effective treatments. Our members produce nearly 90 percent of the health
 care technology purchased annually in the United States and more than 50
 percent purchased annually around the world. AdvaMed members range from the
 largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For
 more information, visit