IMPLANT MAKERS SHUNNED

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WASHINGTON—Liability concerns have made U.S. medical implant makers outcasts among suppliers of biomaterials.

Three-fourths of suppliers of biomaterials for implants have banned sales to U.S. implant makers in large part because they can be held liable for device failures. That's according to a survey released April 8 by the Health Industry Manufacturers Association in Washington.

The survey of 20 suppliers found that small market size also was a factor in companies' decisions to pull back or not enter the market.

The survey was released at a Capitol Hill news conference attended by Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), chairman of the House Telecom and Consumer Protection Subcomittee, which is part of the Commerce Committee.

Tauzin's subcommittee is considering legislation that would get rid of liability for biomaterials suppliers in all but breast implant cases.