Medical device makers' biggest headache? Plunging prices

Prices for major implantable medical devices dropped significantly in recent years, according to a study released by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) in Washington, DC.

Declines in average inflation-adjusted prices ranged from 17% to 34% in the period studied, 2007 through 2011. Implantable defibrillators prices dropped 24%; cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators, 26%; pacemakers, 26%; artificial hips, 23% artificial knees, 17%; drug-eluting stents, 34%; and bare metal stents, 27%.

On a nominal basis (not adjusted for inflation) the price declines ranged from 5% to 25%, depending on the device category, according to the research that was conducted by Analysis Group, Inc., on behalf of AdvaMed. The survey included results from 153 to 294 hospitals (depending on the device category and year)....

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