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Two of the world's smallest pacemakers next to the original one, 2016. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The prices of hospital procedures, doctor visits and prescriptions are a lot higher in the U.S. than other high-income countries, and a new Health Affairs study shows that holds true for medical devices, too.

By the numbers: Roughly 6% of U.S. health care spending goes toward medical devices, or about $200 billion annually.

  • Two researchers studied what hospitals in the U.S., U.K., France, Italy and Germany paid for various heart implants, which make up a big portion of the medical device market.
  • Depending on the type of stent or pacemaker, U.S. hospitals paid anywhere from two to six times more than the country that paid the lowest prices (often Germany).

Between the lines: Prices likely differed based on a country’s tech-based regulation, but also on how much market power medical device companies had.

“Variation within countries suggests that manufacturers exploit varying levels of willingness-to-pay and bargaining power between buyers to charge different prices across hospitals and increase profits.”
— The researchers wrote.

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
1 hour ago - Health

WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release"

A medical syringe and vial with fake coronavirus vaccine in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) logo. Photo Illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Top scientists at the World Health Organization on Friday called for more detailed information on a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca have said the vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses. AstraZeneca has since acknowledged that the smaller dose received by some participants was the result of an error by a contractor, per the New York Times.

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.