Medical Technology industry cautious of outcome for patients

Today’s announcement from the Government to commence a targeted review of hip, knee and cardiac categories comes only three months after a 7.5% and 10% cut took place.

The $86 million per year in cuts delivered price reductions to around 2,400 medical devices. Industry expects private health insurance (PHI) companies will continue to pass on every dollar of savings to consumers through reduced premiums.

Very few industries are subject to arbitrary pricing reductions with little time to implement making it hard for industry to adapt.

The sector needs certainty moving forward – it cannot absorb any further arbitrary cuts.

Last year in Australia more than 2.5 million surgeries took place, for each and every one of theses surgeries medical technology played a part.

Despite nearly one in four patients of Australian hospitals requiring surgery (24%), the Prostheses List accounts for 1.2% of the entire health budget.

There has been practically no growth in the average Prostheses List benefit over 10 years meaning that in real terms the growth has been negative in the order of 20%.

Ian Burgess, Chief Executive of the Medical Technology Association of Australia said:

“The initial $86m cut to the Prostheses List which only took place in February has already had huge ramifications.

“Any further cuts will have an impact on patients and may compromise further the value of private health insurance which is already being questioned by many PHI consumers.

“Our Australian SME members may have to reduce their workforce, reduce investment in research and development and clinical trials in an effort to avoid direct patient impacts.

“We’ve been, and remain, fully supportive of the Government’s efforts to achieve lasting and meaningful fact based reform of medical device benefits.

“We look forward to working with both the Prostheses List Advisory Committee and Government to ensure an evidence based approach to the targeted review process.”