Medical device companies put $3.6 billion in docs’ pockets, study finds

Medtech companies paid $3.62 billion for access to physicians — 10% more than drug companies did — from 2014 to 2017, according to new research.

Device company payments to surgical specialists were significantly more tied to the surgeons’ Medicare billing than payments from drug companies to specialists, according to the study, which appears in the April 2021 edition of Health Affairs.

Payments totaling more than $2.3 billion by 10 medical device firms accounted for more than two-thirds of all device payments to physicians, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University found.

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Sorrento licenses COVID-19 saliva test

Sorrento Therapeutics (NSDQ:SRNE) announced that it entered into a licensing agreement with Columbia University for its COVID-19 saliva diagnostic test.

San Diego-based Sorrento’s rapid, one-step diagnostic test is designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing coronavirus) in as little as 30 minutes from a sample of saliva.

Developed by a team at Columbia, the test will be marketed by Sorrento under the name “COVI-TRACE.” It holds all testing materials in a single tube and requires no specialized laboratory equipment, making it deployable for point-of-care, on-site or potentially at-home testing, according to a news release.

Dr. Zev Williams and his team at Columbia developed the test so that the extraction step which requires laboratory collection can be skipped and a person can collect a small sample of saliva in a cup and place it into a tube containing enzymes and reagents that can detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The tube is then placed i…

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