7. Medtech companies are burying the hatchet
Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) recently settled all outstanding patent disputes related to transcatheter mitral and tricuspid repair products. Two major insulin pump makers — Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Tandem Diabetes Care (NSDQ:TNDM) —have inked a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement related to diabetes treatment tech. And Bayer (ETR:BAYN) has set aside nearly $1.4 billion, mainly to provide for potential lawsuit settlements related to its Essure permanent birth control device.
Simply put, medical device companies are avoiding expensive and lengthy legal disputes amid the pandemic. Here’s what Edwards CEO Mike Mussallem had to say:
“You know we’re passionate about this whole area of being able to help these mitral and tricuspid patients. When you’re involved in a lawsuit, it just consumes a lot of energy. And it not only consumes the energy of the legal team, but it pulls much of the senior team into it, it pulls our field teams into it, it pulls our R&D teams into it. And it’s just a distraction. Instead of having people focused on, ‘How can I do great things for patients, how do I advance this therapy?’ you’re involved in some kind of a chess match. So it’s a real joy for us to say that that time-consuming distraction is gone and we can focus on the exciting innovations that help patients that are suffering from valve disease.”