|Medtech Issues in the 2012 Election Year|
Newt Gingrich has had a rough few months. The always-an-underdog candidate failed to win any key primaries, other than South Carolina and home state Georgia. His exit from the race has been long and drawn out, but on Wednesday, Gingrich official withdrew his name from the presidential election.
Among the presidential candidates, Gingrich boasted the clearest understanding of the challenges facing the medical device industry—not to mention the healthcare industry as a whole.
Exactly one year ago, in 2011, he called for transparency of prices for medical devices. Gingrich told Congress it should ban exclusivity and price confidentiality agreements between device makers and medical providers. This makes "true price competition in the $153 billion medical-device marketplace impossible" and prices can be marked up "hundreds of percentage points," Gingrich said.
Gingrich also championed speeding market entry for advanced medical products, suggesting that FDA issue conditional approvals.
However, Gingrich's think-tank Center for Health Transformation has been suffering. In April, the Center for Health Transformation filed Chapter 7 and will cease operations. In the filed documents, the center listed debt of as much as $10 million and assets of less than $100,000. According to the Washington Post, the Center's "fortunes. . . sunk rapidly last year as its compelling leader turned his energies to the political campaign trail."
Whether Gingrich will once again return to healthcare ventures remains to be seen.