The right way to address prescription drug costs
Friday, December 21, 2018 12:50 PM

ith a new Democratic majority in the House pledging to address the rising cost of health care — including prescription drugs — a fundamental question arises: Will lawmakers focus on the real issues that can drain a family’s finances, or simply adopt extreme policies that fail to take on the underlying problems in our health care system?

As policy professionals from different sides of the aisle, we believe there is a right way to address these issues and a wrong way. The right way will reduce out-of-pocket costs for Americans, improve access to new medicines, and allow the United States to remain the global leader in medical innovation. The wrong way leads to price controls, weakened intellectual property protections, and restricted access to medicines, not to mention stifling innovation and doing little to make drugs more affordable.

Judging from the current state of the drug-pricing debate, we are concerned that policymakers will adopt the wrong approach.

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Avanos Medical, Inc. Appoints David Ball as Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain & Procurement
Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:27 PM

ALPHARETTA, Ga.Dec. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanos Medical, Inc. today announced that David Ball has been appointed senior vice president, global supply chain & procurement. In this role, Ball will spearhead an integrated supply chain strategy to support Avanos' continued growth and transformation. Previously, Ball served as senior vice president of operations at Acelity where he led the company's global manufacturing operations and oversaw its inventory, supply chain, procurement and facilities functions.

"We are very pleased to have Dave join Avanos as senior vice president of global supply chain & procurement," stated Joe Woody, chief executive officer. "His prior experience at Acelity in transforming its global service organization, optimizing cost structures and driving continuous improvement and efficiency programs will be of great value as we focus on optimization and consolidation of our global operations." 

While at Acelity, Ball was credited with helping to transform the company's global service organization, increasing efficiency within the company's manufacturing sites. Ball was instrumental in optimizing the company's cost structure and sustaining savings throughout the company's expansion. In addition, for over 30 years, Ball worked for GE's Healthcare, Transportation Systems and Railway Electronics businesses, as well as Harris Corp's Communications and Aerospace Systems divisions. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech.

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Avanos Among Winners of FDA's Opioid Innovation Challenge
Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:25 PM

ALPHARETTA, Ga.Dec. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanos Medical, Inc. (NYSE: AVNS) is pleased to announce it has been selected as one of eight winners of the FDA's Opioid Addiction Innovation Challenge. The product selected is an enhanced nerve visualization system in development by Avanos' Acute Pain division.   

The FDA launched the challenge in May 2018 to spur the development of medical devices and solutions to help combat the growing epidemic of opioid misuse and abuse. Avanos was selected as one of eight winners among more than 250 submissions from medical device companies and/or developers. 

"The opioid epidemic is one of the most severe health crises we face today, and we are committed to being part of the solution," said Joe Woody, Avanos chief executive officer. "Our selection is an exciting recognition of our focus on innovation and demonstrates that our increased R&D investment and capability is being recognized."  

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BIO Applauds Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill
Monday, December 17, 2018 12:17 PM

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President & CEO James C. Greenwood today issued the following statement on the 2018 Farm Bill:

"BIO applauds the Farm Bill Conference Committee, led by Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and representatives Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), on coming to a long-term agreement on a 2018 Farm Bill. At a time of uncertainty for our nation’s farmers, the agricultural economy, and rural America, this bipartisan Farm Bill will provide the much-needed confidence and certainty for many Americans who rely on its programs and funding.

“As a result of BIO’s advocacy, the conference committee provided mandatory funding for key programs in the Farm Bill’s energy title. While BIO would have preferred the conference committee adopted the Senate-passed funding levels for the title, we applaud the conferees for understanding the importance of these programs and thank them for providing mandatory funding to allow these programs to continue. As I testified to Congress when work first began on this important legislation, the Farm Bill’s energy title programs are critical to our nation’s farmers and rural communities as they develop new renewable chemicals, bio-based products, advanced biofuels, and other products of industrial biotechnology.

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AdvaMed Statement on Medical Device Tax Moratorium
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 02:09 PM

Washington, D.C. – The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) issued the following statement from President and CEO Scott Whitaker as the House Ways and Means Committee released legislation that includes an extension of the moratorium on the medical device tax for an additional 5 years:

“The medical device excise tax is bad health policy and bad economic policy. No one disagrees on these points. We applaud the Committee for including a 5-year extension of the moratorium on the tax in its new extenders package, and we thank congressional medtech champions Rep. Erik Paulsen, Rep. Jackie Walorski, and Chairman Kevin Brady for spearheading this piece of the bill.

“A 5-year moratorium will give companies greater confidence in planning long-term R&D—a component that is critical to maintaining the longevity of the industry and sustaining the innovation ecosystem. Future breakthroughs in patient care are undermined by the threat of the medical device tax.

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