STATEMENT: California State Senate committee ices bill that would help hospitals, patients

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Appropriations committee fails to pass California Medical Right to Repair Act

CALPIRG

SACRAMENTO — After the California Medical Device Right to Repair Act (SB 605) passed through the California Senate Committees on Health and Judiciary in recent weeks without a single opposing vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee chose not to pass the bill on Thursday. 

Many medical device manufacturers routinely restrict access to essential repair materials, including tools, schematics, access codes and more. The barriers that equipment producers impose delay patient care and increase repair costs. SB 605, introduced by state Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman (Stockton), would have provided qualified technicians employed by hospitals and independent service organizations with these materials.

In response, CALPIRG’s Right to Repair Advocate Kevin O’Reilly issued the following statement:

“This is not only a disappointing result for healthcare professionals but it also puts patients and public health at risk. The pandemic has made clear the need to allow on-site technicians to fix medical devices as soon as they break. Without Right to Repair, manufacturers’ control on the medical device repair market will continue to delay patient care and drive up the cost.

“Hospital repair technicians, hospital networks and associations, public health groups, consumer groups and more all came together to put the needs of patients above manufacturer profits. It is clear that a heavy lobbying effort by manufacturer groups ultimately convinced leadership to kill the bill. It’s unconscionable that this problem will continue to plague patients through the end of the pandemic and beyond.”

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