Washington State Coalition Calls for Timely Action to Repeal Medical Device Tax

03.31.15

29 signatories call for an end to a tax on innovation and patient care

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) and the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) today led a coalition in delivering a letter to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington state calling for timely action on legislation to repeal the medical device tax.

“The life sciences and technology industry is the backbone of innovation in Washington state, creating jobs and improving the health of our citizens,” said Chris Rivera, President and CEO of WBBA. “Along with our partners, we urge Congress to act swiftly to advance innovation, the economy and patient care by repealing the medical device tax.”

The medical technology industry is an essential engine for economic growth in the United States. In Washington state alone, the industry currently supports an estimated 12,124 jobs and generates approximately $3.1 billion in total economic activity in the state, with an additional 5,169 jobs created elsewhere in the United States. Its uses yields $1.8 billion in direct economic output and the taxes paid by the state’s 37 medical imaging technology firms, their suppliers and their employees provide $428 million in revenues to the federal, state, and local governments.

In the letter, the coalition noted that the onerous 2.3 percent medical device excise tax reduces financial resources that should be used for research and development (R&D), clinical trials and investments in manufacturing. The letter also emphasizes that the tax is not being offset by increased demand for medical devices, as the majority of device-intensive medical procedures are performed on older patients with existing private insurance or Medicare coverage.

“We deeply appreciate the efforts of Senators Murray and Cantwell to repeal the medical device tax, and we encourage them to seize the current momentum for repeal of this burdensome tax that stifles innovation,” said Andy Dhokai, director of federal relations for MITA. “Puget Sound’s diverse group of scientific and technological innovators has cultivated the discovery of many technologies that impact millions of lives and fuel the Washington state economy. This tax is a direct threat to innovation and economic progress in the state.”

The letter had 29 signatories from a broad range of U.S. industry and research, including the University of Washington, GE Healthcare, Siemens and Philips Healthcare.

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About MITA

The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiation therapy and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging and radiation therapy technologies. For more information, visit www.medicalimaging.org. Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.

About the WBBA

The Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) has 660 member organizations and is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association serving the life sciences industry in the state of Washington. It is completely resourced and supported by its members, including organizations engaged in, or supportive of, research, development and commercialization of life science innovation.

The WBBA’s Mission; “To support and help to grow Washington State’s life science ecosystem”, drives its core strategic focus on;

  • Commercialization – mentoring start-up life science companies that eventually raise capital, commercialize IP and employ people.
  • Access to capital – not just financial capital, but also intellectual, as well as human capital is a top priority for us on behalf of our members. 
  • Human Capital – initiatives focused on the recruitment, retention and the development of the talent needed to grow our life science community.
  • Public Policy – we advocate for, and increasing the awareness about, our life science sector to our local, state and federal representatives.
  • Purchasing Power – Our members save money by purchasing goods and services from our 18 purchasing partners.