Medical device trade association says U.S. companies can meet COVID needs

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WASHINGTON – The CEO of the country’s most powerful medical device trade group says U.S. companies are meeting the demand for products to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scott Whitaker, who runs the U.S. Advanced Medical Technology Association, or AdvaMed, said during a virtual news conference Friday that he could not “think of any areas where we can’t meet demand.”

His comments came as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a list of 20 items in short supply.

Among them were “ventilator-related products,” “testing supplies” and “personal protective gear.”

Several hospitals also say they are hurting for some supplies, and communities are still saying there are not enough tests available.

Whitaker said U.S. device makers could supply what was needed. As proof, AdvaMed board chair Kevin Lobo, CEO of Stryker, pointed to huge increases in production of protective masks and major jumps COVID testing supplies.

Molecular tests for COVID are running 32 million to 35 million per month, Whitaker said. Those tests use nasal and throat swabs or saliva to search for the coronavirus in genetic material and diagnose if you currently have COVID-19.

The device industry expects “a massive scale-up of antigen testing in the fall,” according …

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