Device Firms May See Tougher Laws

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Medical-device companies could benefit from an improving economy and a clearer view of health-system changes this year, but they will still have to contend with plenty of challenges.

These include toughening regulatory oversight, hospitals battling high device prices, an expected multibillion-dollar tax as part of health-overhaul legislation, and no big innovations to invigorate sales.

“I don’t see [device companies] ever going back to the premiums they used to command, at least until there are some new technologies driving growth,” said Tim Nelson, a senior health-care analyst at FAF Advisors Inc. in Minnesota, which owns shares of device companies.

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