Bill would speed FDA approvals for medical device makersby Brett Neely, Minnesota Public Radio
WASHINGTON — This week Congress is likely to pass significant legislation that will affect major Minnesota companies such as Medtronic and St. Jude Medical.
According to industry estimates, as many as 400 companies and 35,000 employees in Minnesota develop and build medical devices.
The device industry has long complained that the Food and Drug Administration is too slow at approving new medical devices such as stents, pacemakers and artificial hips for use by patients.
Under legislation approved in the Senate last week, those companies will double the fees they already give the FDA to speed the approval process.
The House of Representatives will likely vote on a similar bill on Wednesday
The device industry's main trade association says it's strongly behind the Senate legislation. But the Consumers Union warned that the bill doesn't do enough to strengthen protection for patients.