eNews September 15, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

How’s this for a change — Good news!

Bank of America analysts are “broadly bullish” on the medical device industry into the end of 2020, reports MedTech Dive. The analysts’ main takeaway is that procedure volumes continued to recover in August compared to July and that medtechs are “gaining confidence in the quality and durability” of demand for devices. That confidence tracks with hospital traffic data through Aug. 30 that Jefferies analysts shared in a note to clients in early September. They reported the fourth consecutive week with a positive change in traffic.

Needed: Nimble U.S.-based innovators

COVID-19 is a reminder that medical manufacturing must return to the United States, write FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephan M. Hahn and Deputy Commissioner Dr. Anand Shah in a recent op/ed piece for CNBC. “Companies are incentivized to outsource medical manufacturing to countries such as China and India, where the cost of both labor and manufacturing is lower than in the United States, leaving the supply chain vulnerable to shocks and disruption,” they write. What’s more, the U.S. has been slow to adopt new manufacturing technologies, from continuous manufacturing of pharmaceuticals to additive manufacturing of medical devices. “We need to invest in small, nimble innovators that use the latest technologies to ensure our supply chain is flexible to support acute spikes in demand during emergency situations.”

Patients have a right to know about your devices

Should medical device suppliers be responsible for ensuring that patients are informed of the benefits, risks and uncertainty surrounding their devices, as well as available treatment options? The Medical Device Innovation Consortium says yes, and recently published “Best Practices for Communicating Benefit, Risk and Uncertainty for Medical Devices” to help suppliers do just that. The report identifies characteristics of providers and patients, and the way in which scientific and medical information is disseminated, which can affect patients’ comprehension and decision-making. “The patient perspective that is included in this report will help physicians and medical device manufacturers understand what patients really need,” patient advocate Heidi Dohse was quoted as saying. MDIC is a public-private partnership created to advance medical device regulatory science throughout the total product life cycle.

What does climate change have to do with health?

A group of doctors is urging medical residency programs to implement standardized curricula on the health impacts of climate change, reports Stat News. In a paper published Sept. 9 in Academic Medicine, the physicians – led by Rebecca Philipsborn, a pediatrician at the Emory University School of Medicine – examine elderly and low-income families, and review the current understanding on how climate impacts health, such as the relationship between air quality and respiratory illness. The doctors also encourage consideration of the health impacts of displacement due to extreme weather events. Those who lose their home due to a hurricane, for instance, often develop post-traumatic stress disorder or face other mental health challenges. They are also at a higher risk for developing other conditions, such as food insecurity, which in turn can affect their physical and mental health.