The right-to-repair movement has been successful at the state level in raising awareness about the financial, environmental, and ethical benefits of allowing consumers to seek repair and re-use for products—everything from watches to computers. At the White House level, this has been lauded as an important aspect of increasing competition, which helps and grows the economy overall.
President Biden’s executive order, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” came with a 72-item fact sheet to outline how this is to happen. The order goes as far as to encourage the FTC to rule against anti-competitive restrictions to repairs and re-use. However, healthcare products were not included in this. In terms of healthcare, prescription drugs, hearing aids, hospital consolidation, and health insurance are singled out. While in agriculture—for example—equipment repair is addressed, there is no mention of instrumentation or equipment in healthcare, although manufacturer restrictions on re-use of healthcare devices severely dampens competition and increases costs. . .
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