Jul 15, 2011

A new study by US medical device industry lobbying group Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) finds that prices for medical devices and diagnostic products have increased at less than one-fourth the rate of other medical products and services due to high pricing competition.

The study’s key findings: Medical device spending totaled 5.9% ($147 billion) of total US health expenditures in 2009, up ever so slightly from 5.3% of US health expenditures. Medical and diagnostic device prices furthermore increased at an average annual rate of one percent during that 20-year period, according to the study. Medical Care and Medical Care Services Consumer Price Indexes, on the other hand, have seen average yearly increases of 4.7 percent and 5.0 percent respectively during the same time period.

AdvaMed executive vice president of payment and health care delivery policy Ann-Marie Lynch contends that the study results should demonstrate to policymakers and legislators that the medical device sector represents a consistently small, low-cost component of overall US medical expenditures (and presumably that no regulatory steps should be taken to interfere with the industry’s low-cost trajectory). Lynch also attributes the low levels of price increases for medical devices to competition within the industry.


  • Stewart Eisenhart