A familiar face in biotech circles soon will be joining AdvaMed as the organization’s president and CEO.
Scott Whitaker, chief operating officer of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, will come on board April 4.
Whitaker previously served in leadership roles at the Department of Health and Human Services, including as chief of staff and assistant secretary for legislation.
Among his top priorities, he plans to work with members of Congress and others on the need to fully repeal the device tax, Whitaker tells IDDM.
In December, President Obama signed a government funding bill that included a provision to suspend the 2.3 percent medical device excise tax for 2016 and 2017. Industry groups, including AdvaMed, have called the tax a “drag” on innovator devicemakers, saying it halted investment in R&D ().
Whitaker says he also is focusing on the reauthorization of the Medical Device User Fee Act. He adds that his other goals include working with patient groups, medical societies, research advocates and others to improve access to medical technology, as well as educating policymakers on the importance of having a regulatory environment that encourages innovation.
“Given the many healthcare challenges throughout the world, it is critical that we work together to create a policy and regulatory environment that will allow this industry to continue to discover, develop and deliver innovative medical technologies to patients,” he says.
As BIO’s chief operating officer, Whitaker managed all aspects of the organization’s day-to-day operations, including advocacy, policy, communications and non-dues revenue business. AdvaMed Board Chairman Vincent Forlenza says Whitaker has a proven track record as an association leader, and he believes he has the vision to set the course for the group’s future.
“Medical technology companies are at the forefront of developing solutions that improve patient outcomes and enable the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care. However, continued progress in these areas depends on ensuring a strong innovation ecosystem,” he says. — Jonathon Shacat