By Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-03)
Minnesota is home to more than 400 innovative medical technology companies -- employing more than 35,000 Minnesotans. From life saving heart stents to life improving artificial joints, the products and services created by these medical device companies have helped not only our families and neighbors, but the lives of millions all over the world.
This morning Senator Klobuchar and I met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss the many challenges facing this vital Minnesota industry and our concerns that American patients have access to the newest and best medical products.
Because I have had the opportunity to meet with so many medical technology innovators and entrepreneurs, I was able to convey the extent of the threats facing the U.S. medical technology industry to the Secretary.
Innovators, investors, physicians, and patients have raised the alarm about companies and clinical trials moving overseas, the rate at which venture capital for medical technology is drying up, and the new 2.3% medical device tax included in the President's healthcare law. While other countries are actively recruiting and incentivizing medical technology companies to locate their manufacturing and do research within their borders, our own government is making it increasingly difficult and expensive to innovate and create new medical technology business here in the United States.
The Secretary also agreed to provide feedback on the bipartisan legislation I and my colleagues in Congress have introduced to increase efficiency, transparency, and predictability at the FDA. I look forward to receiving comments from the agency and working with the Secretary in the future. I am thankful to both Secretary Sebelius and Senator Klobuchar for their willingness to work on common-sense reforms at the FDA. We must ensure that the FDA upholds its obligation to regulate in an effective and least burdensome way.
I look forward to our continued work together on behalf of Minnesota job creators and patients.