Wednesday 21 March 2018

Trinity Biotech hit by Obama's new medical tax

Roisin Burke

US President Barack Obama's new tax on medical device sales will cost Trinity Biotech €770,000 in 2013, it emerged last week.

"In the short term, it's not a favourable development," said Kevin Tansley, the company's chief financial officer, of the 2.3 per cent levy on US sales introduced in January.

Wicklow-based Trinity saw its profits rise by a record 11 per cent to €13.3m for 2012, with higher HIV product sales in Africa providing significant boost. It has significant presence in the US.

Tansley said that this year the company would launch a new diabetes product into the Chinese market. "We expect to see considerable growth there and in that market generally," he said.

The company is seeking European approval for a revolutionary heart-attack diagnosis product from its Swedish acquisition Fiomi by the end of 2013, and hopes to have FDA approval in the US in early 2014.

Of people turning up at hospitals with cardiac symptoms, only 10 per cent are actually having a cardiac arrest episode. The new test quickly identifies those individuals.

"It is the best test of its kind," said Tansley.

The Obama tax shaves four cent of earnings per share for Trinity, the company estimates.

However, when 'Obamacare' measures are introduced in 2014 they will bring millions more Americans into the healthcare system, with knock-on increases in medical product needs.

Irish Independent

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