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FTC report finds scant evidence to support manufacturer justification for repair restrictions

May 12, 2021
Parts And Service

FTC recognized business injury and reputation may be reasons for restrictions
While the FTC said there may be legally recognized explanations for repair restrictions, which could include preventing injuries and reputational concerns with non-authorized replacement parts or services, it also said manufacturers may be held liable to the extent they have market power and refuse to provide consumers or aftermarket service providers with "key inputs" such as parts, manuals or diagnostic software and tools.

Robert J. Kerwin
Next steps remain undetermined
So what does all of this mean, and in particular, what does this mean in the context of some existing medical device repair restrictions? Well… my crystal ball is somewhat cloudy and the overall blunt report on manufacturer practices did not offer in its conclusion a plethora of insight as to the next steps that the FTC actually plans to undertake. We may have to wait until the FTC commissioners offer further public comment. Reportedly, the FTC commissioners will include one new commissioner with a strong background in antitrust, if approved by the U.S. Senate.

About the author: Robert J. Kerwin is the general counsel for the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers (IAMERS).

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Don Bogutski

FTC Report

May 13, 2021 05:07

An important report on a significant subject of interest to all independent vendors and servicers of medical technology.

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Steve Arey

FTC Report "Nixing the Fix"

May 14, 2021 10:38

Having worked in the Medical Device repair industry for 35 years, 23 in the Federal Government, I believe "Best Practices" for consumer protection would be the FTC "require" manufacturers of all medical devices provide "proof" their devices are "safe" to use as least annually. Some devices, depending on use, may need to be more stringent.

Steven Arey
Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician -1986
Certified Radiological Equipment Specialist -1990

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Steven Ford

Link to the actual report

May 31, 2021 01:42

The report in full can be found here

https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/nixing-fix-ftc-report-congress-repair-restrictions/nixing_the_fix_report_final_5521_630pm-508_002.pdf

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