ARLINGTON, Va. The following is a statement by Robert Betz, PhD, president and CEO of the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA):
The Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) opposes the Medical Device Competition Act of 2004 (S. 2880), as introduced by Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. This legislation is counterproductive to the shared priorities of the Senators and the industry of ensuring healthcare providers access to the best products at the best price.
The public policy goals outlined in S. 2880 are the same founding principles of healthcare purchasing organizations -- encouraging competition and innovation in the hospital supply and medical device markets, and reducing the cost of healthcare as a result of aggregating buying power. However, legislation is the wrong avenue to pursue these goals.
HIGPAs Code of Conduct, adopted in 2002, is working and emphasizes the group purchasing industrys commitment to improving health care and advancing technological innovation at the most manageable costs to providers of care and their patients. HIGPAs Code focuses on several areas:
-- Promoting competition and innovation;
-- Eliminating the potential for conflicts of interests;