How will President-elect Donald Trump's policies affect medtech and pharma?

Four healthcare industry experts discuss how President-elect Donald Trump's healthcare policies could affect the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.

Responses have been edited for length and accuracy.

Danielle Humphrey of Hogan Lovells — an international law firm (Washington, D.C.): "In a nutshell, it appears that Donald Trump is proposing an across-the-board decrease in regulation and taxes and significant changes at [the] FDA. Overall, medical device firms can anticipate significant turnover at all levels of [Center for Devices and Radiological Health], leading to a loss of institutional knowledge and predictability. Trump has promised to reverse many policies of the current administration, including repealing the Affordable Care Act and its medical device tax, and has proposed a moratorium on new regulations and the elimination of regulations that do not improve public safety.

Additionally, Trump and the Republicans specifically address the medtech industry by proposing key reforms at [the] FDA that will make the product review process more efficient while restoring FDA's role as the world's leading public health agency and ensuring that U.S. citizens are the first to have access to new, cutting edge devices and pharmaceuticals.

Taxes are another key topic impacting the medtech industry and Trump seeks to lower corporate taxes in order to draw innovative companies back to the United States. He also supports a policy whereby profits earned and taxed overseas can be repatriated in the United States, making funds available for domestic job creation."

Zackary Irani, CEO of Biomerica — a medical diagnostics company (Irvine, Calif.): "Trump is most likely going to strive to create an environment that yields constant innovation throughout the medical device and biotech industries. While it's far too early to tell whether or not this will be his strategy, the general hope would be that this innovation will create efficiencies and better healthcare for patients via new technologies."

Karine Kleinhaus, MD, Divisional Vice President, North America of Pluristem Therapeutics — a biotherapy company (Haifa, Israel): "The change will bring new robust interest in healthcare specifically in cell therapy. Despite the discord in both political parties, at the end of the day everyone may benefit from a successful handling of the regenerative medicine issue at least in a lame-duck session after the election. The Regrow Act has strong support across the political spectrum. The new bill calls for an injection of billions into federal biomedical research and an easing of restrictions on FDA approvals of stem cell products. Converting the scientific potential of stem cell technology into real therapeutic value still represents a significant challenge, however. The stem cells field faces a wide variety of scientific, technologic and regulatory challenges, and successful commercialization has not yet been achieved."

Dan Steingart, Vice President of NFP Health Care at Moody's Investors Service — a credit ratings, research and risk analysis firm (New York): "Trump has proposed removing barriers to import drugs from foreign countries where they can be purchased at lower cost. Drug prices have increased significantly in recent years and policies that lower drug prices are credit positive for not-for-profit hospitals, because such policies would reduce their costs."

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