Hospitals driving down price of medical devices

Hospital spending reductions may be the reason behind the large percentage drop in biomedical device prices, Bloomberg News reported.

A variety of medical devices commonly used in hospital surgical procedures experienced a significant dip in prices over the past six years, according to the Advanced Medical Technology Association.These devices include:

  • drug-eluting stents (34 percent price decline)
  • pacemakers (26 percent price dip)
  • artificial hips (23 percent price decrease)
  • artificial knees (17 percent price drop)

The price data was collected from a survey of 294 hospitals. Demands from hospitals to reduce costs may have been only one factor, according to AdvaMed. The intensity of usage, the quality and features of the devices and competition from other manufacturers may also play a role.

"What else in healthcare can you say is going down in terms of price? At least in this part of healthcare, good old-fashioned competition works well," Stephen Ubl, AdvaMed's chief executive officer, told Bloomberg.

Johnson & Johnson, once the leader in manufacturing stents, saw its revenue drop from $2.6 billion in 2006 to $627 million by 2010 as competition from two other manufacturers heated up, according to Bloomberg.

Healthcare prices are at historic lows, with some of the lowest increases in nearly a quarter of a century, according to recent data.

To learn more:
- read the Bloomberg News article
- check out the AdvaMed study (.pdf)