Medtronic Spent $1.3M on Lobbying Congress

In the first quarter alone, Medtronic Inc. spent almost $1.3 million lobbying Congress on issues affecting the large medical corporation and its products. The recent disclosure form from Medtronic shows lobbying on issues from a medical device tax to approval of some of its products, the Associated Press reports.

The world’s largest medical device maker, Medtronic has now invested nearly $3.4 million in lobbying in the last three financial quarters. Its most controversial lobbying cause was to the Food and Drug Administration, asking it to approve certain medical devices through a process that allows quick approval to devices similar to products already on the market.

The 510(k) process is popular with medical equipment corporations because it is faster and cheaper than the review process for devices that are the first of their kind, the AP said. The FDA has operated this system for more than 30  years.

However, some are critical of the system, saying it allows high-risk devices to enter the marketplace without a proper, in-depth review. Because of such criticism, the FDA is currently undergoing a review of its system. According to the AP, this is something Medtronic is unhappy about. The process to approve medical devices is already too difficult, the company says, making it harder to get new devices into the market in a cost-efficient manner.

Other lobbying issues Medtronic pursued included the removal of a medical device tax imposed by last year’s Obama health care law, patent issues and Medicare reimbursement issues.

All details are found on a regulatory form filed by the company April 20.

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