The medtech minute (or two)

How medtech business gets done in China

BribeWas anyone really shocked—shocked—to find out that bribery is rampant in China’s healthcare industry? Probably not, but an investigative piece in the New York Times on June 14 shed a harsh light on how global medtech giants such as GE, Siemens, Phillips and Toshiba are at least indirectly complicit in the practice.

The report revealed how “foreign firms have become deeply enmeshed in the corruption pervading China’s health care industry,” write Alexandra Stevenson and Sui-Lee Wee. They cite one case that was filed with Chinese authorities in 2016 in which a hospital administrator was offered more than $1 million by GE sales reps to incentivize the purchase of a CT scanner for $4 million. The corrupt Chinese official received a 15-year sentence.

The medical device manufacturers told the Times that hospitals often require them to sell through middlemen, where much of the bribery—although not all, apparently—takes place.

Image: Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock

Cook Medical recalls PTA catheters

Product recallCook Medical has recalled some lots of its Advance Enforcer 35 Focal Force PTA balloon catheters following reports that some balloons had burst below the rated pressure. The Class 1 recall, FDA’s most serious classification, affects 33 devices in the United States that were manufactured between Oct. 3, 2018, and Dec. 17, 2018, said FDA.

“While there were no malfunctions, deaths or injury reported for this balloon issue, there is a high occurrence rate,” said FDA on its website. “Potential adverse events that may occur if an affected product is used include a delay in the procedure, additional intervention, vessel injury, balloon fragmentation in the patient and death.”

Image: iQoncept/Adobe Stock.

Dassault buys Medidata for $5.8 billion

HandshakeFrench company Dassault Systèmes announced on June 12 that it has acquired U.S.-based Medidata Solutions, a driver of digital transformation in the life sciences industry, for the tidy sum of $5.8 billion. The acquisition is expected to be finalized by Q4 2019.

Medidata’s clinical expertise and cloud-based solutions power the development and commercialization of smarter therapies for 1,300 customers worldwide, including pharmaceutical companies and biotechs, contract research organizations, and medical centers and sites, said a press release distributed by Dassault.

The acquisition will strengthen Dassault’s ability to connect the dots between people, ideas and data, said Vice Chairman and CEO Bernard Charlès, and advance the development of personalized medicine. “Medidata’s recent expansion into real-world evidence and analytics coupled with the power of modeling and simulation demonstrates how the virtual world will catalyze the next generation of patient-inclusive therapeutics. We are now well positioned to be the enabler of the life science industry’s transformation, illustrating our company’s purpose of harmonizing product, nature and life,” said Charlès.

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