At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many ventilators sat unused, unable to be repaired. Why? Many manufacturers restrict access to the tools, parts and information needed to repair these and other devices. That’s why PIRG has been advocating for the right to repair medical equipment.
With the help of over 250 medical repair technicians and hospitals around the country, PIRG was able to stop a manufacture-backed bill restricting repair from being included in the U.S. Senate’s medical device user fee renewal legislation (known as FDASLA) this week. The language, had it been included in this must-pass bill, would have instituted an overly broad definition of “remanufacturing” that would regulate some hospital biomedical departments and independent repair organizations out of business- reversing right to repair gains, raising healthcare costs and posing unnecessary patient safety risks. This same language was introduced as an amendment in the House companion bill, where our advocacy and opposition from lawmakers kept it off the bill.