FDAnews Device Daily Bulletin


May 1, 2006

The medical device industry must consider its role in cost containment and cost-effectiveness in the overall U.S. healthcare picture, argued experts at the recent World Healthcare Congress in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. healthcare system is lagging behind its fellow industrialized nations in terms of the quality and cost of healthcare, and the degree to which it is willing to learn from models in other countries may be key, experts said.

For example, healthcare systems in Taiwan and Canada involve partnering with device and drug industries to keep costs manageable. The Canadian model achieves buy-in from industry "upstream," said John Burns, senior vice president for investment programs management at Canada Health Infoways. He noted that building a business strategy through collaboration with provincial health ministries and other partners is an effective business model for managing costs.

Taiwan's system is similar to Japan's in that "we negotiate directly with vendors," Hong-Jen Chang, former CEO and president of Taiwan's Bureau of National Health Insurance (NHI) and CEO of Taiwan Global Biofund, told FDAnews.

The device industry has undermined cost-effectiveness by lobbying Congress to cease funding a now-defunct government initiative, Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll, told conference attendees April 17. He took industry and Capitol Hill to task for failing to streamline U.S. healthcare to model more efficient and higher-quality models in Canada, Europe and Asia. ()a href="http://www.fdanews.com/ddl/33_17/" target=_blank>