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AdvaMed Spends $0.36 Million Lobbying In Q1 2009

Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), a Washington-based medical technology association, has spent over $0.36 million for lobbying the US federal government in the first quarter of 2009. AdvaMed, whose members include Medtronic Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp., lobbied on legislation affecting a range of devices, from pacemakers to catheters to artificial hips.

Besides Congress, AdvaMed lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA in the January-March 2009 period, according to a form filed April 20, 2009 with the Senate’s public records office.

The AdvaMed also lobbied on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which will require drug and medical device manufacturers to disclose all gifts and payments over $100 made to physicians.

AdvaMed also lobbied on efforts in the House of Representatives to make it easier for patients to sue medical device companies via personal injury lawsuits.

Medical device firms are largely shielded from patient lawsuits at the state level by a Supreme Court decision that gives federal regulators the final say in declaring a device safe or unsafe. Democrats, backed by trial lawyers and patient groups, want to overturn that decision, which they say misinterprets the law.

AdvaMed has argued that overriding the decision would allow state courts to second-guess medical experts and create a patchwork of inconsistent and confusing guidance.

It also lobbied on patent reform and efforts to bolster Food and Drug Administration’s safety inspections.