How big medtech fared during a year of COVID-19

[Image from Unsplash]Despite numerous challenges, the medtech industry showed itself to be fairly recession-proof in 2020, according to a Medical Design & Outsourcing/MassDevice analysis of financials.

Annual reports recently released by 20 of the world’s largest medical device companies showed only a slight dip in revenue during 2020 — a year in which medtech held the front lines against the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment was also up slightly amongst the top earners, while R&D spending held its own.

The 20 companies included in the MDO analysis include 3M Healthcare, Abbott (medical device segment), Alcon, Align Technology, Baxter, Boston Scientific, Danaher (life sciences and diagnostics segment), Dentsply Sirona, Edwards Lifesciences, GE Healthcare, Henry Schein, Intuitive Surgical, Johnson & Johnson (medical device segment), Medline Industries, Owens & Minor, Royal Philips, Smith+Nephew, Stryker, Teleflex and Zimmer Biomet.

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These 5 medtech companies made it into the top 200 of Forbes’ best places to work list

Johnson & Johnson, Steris, Philips, Fujifilm Holdings and Boston Scientific were recently named among Forbes’ best large employers in America, based on feedback from their employees.

Forbes partnered with a market research firm to survey 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Survey participants were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their employer to friends and family and to nominate a business that wasn’t their own.

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Biden’s COVID-19 response will make manufacturers busy

[Image courtesy of Biden for President]Manufacturers of vaccine supplies and personal protective equipment can expect more work as the new Biden administration rolls out its plans to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

In one of his first official acts as president, Joe Biden announced a plan to “fully use” the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of testing supplies, masks, face shields and other PPE, with an eye toward boosting American manufacturing to reduce reliance on other countries. The president also announced his intention to invest $25 billion in a vaccine manufacturing and distribution plan that will provide vaccines to all Americans, free of charge.

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Dems seek to force EPA action on ethylene oxide monitoring

(Image from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Democrats in both houses of Congress have introduced legislation that would force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to better monitor emissions of ethylene oxide (EtO) from plants that manufacture the toxic gas or use it to sterilize medical devices.

The Public Health Air Quality Act of 2020, sponsored by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Ill.) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.), would require immediate EPA action to monitor emissions at “facilities contributing to high local cancer rates and other health threats from dangerous pollutants.” The list includes eight medtech sterilization plants included among 25 EPA-designated, EtO-using or -producing facilities:

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U.S. Senators demand investigation of Trump COVID-19 supply chain effort

(Image by Krzysztof Kowalik on Unsplash)

Three U.S. senators today demanded an investigation into Project Air Bridge, a Trump administration supply-chain management project to import personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dubbing the project “opaque,” U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also released new documents and information from the six major medical wholesalers or distribution companies involved in the project — Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), McKesson, Medline Industries, Henry Schein (NSDQ:HSIC), Owens & Minor (NYSE:OMI) and Concordance Healthcare Solutions.

Warren and Blumenthal began investigating Project Air Bridge in April after multiple reports of seizures of supplies by federal officials and what they characterized in a news release as “political favoriti…

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