Medical Right to Repair Movement gains steam as SB 605 passes second committee

Media Contacts
Claudia Deeg

The bill would remove manufacturer-imposed barriers to repairing hospital equipment, improving safety and lowering healthcare costs

CALPIRG

SACRAMENTOSenate Bill (SB) 605, The Medical Device Right to Repair Act, passed through its second committee in a 9-0 vote on Tuesday evening. This bill, previously heard and passed unanimously by the Senate Health Committee, was authored by state Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman. 

SB 605 will require manufacturers of medical devices to provide access to service parts and information to hospitals and the third-party repair providers that work with them at a fair and reasonable price. The bill is co-sponsored by CALPIRG, the American College of Clinical Engineering, and iFixit; and was supported by the California Hospital Association. 

In response to the bill’s passing, Claudia Deeg, CALPIRG Public Health Associate, issued the following statement: 

“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare many of the failings in our healthcare system, not least the ongoing shortages of critical medical equipment like ventilators. Restrictions on repair put in place by medical device manufacturers only made this problem worse. The delays to patient care and increased costs caused by manufacturer-imposed barriers are unacceptable, and the passing of SB 605 through its second committee is a triumphant step in the right direction towards remedying these shortcomings and prioritizing patient care.

“The need for medical right to repair existed long before the pandemic, and without action, will continue to burden us long after. Hospitals in rural areas can face particularly long delays to servicing equipment, leaving providers and patients in the lurch. Advocates, hospitals and independent servicers want the same thing: the tools needed to save lives.

“SB 605 will end the manufacturer monopoly on medical device repair and help California hospitals treat their patients in need. We thank Sen. Eggman, Chair Umberg and the committee members for supporting this critical bill.” 

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