Tue, Sep 03, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Medical device producers likely to receive tax cuts

HEALTHY INCENTIVES:If approved, a new bill would grant tax reductions to medical device companies for their research and development and personnel training costs

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

The legislature is likely to pass a draft bill in the upcoming session allowing manufacturers of high-risk medical devices to receive tax reductions and government subsidies, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday.

“There is a consensus among legislators for such initiative, so we think it should not be a problem,” Wang said on the sidelines of a meeting for the review of biotechnology policies.

The bill would grant these companies tax reduction for their research and development expenditure and spending on personnel training, according to the government-funded Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry, which proposed the bill to the government.

Furthermore, the bill will increase subsidies for local medical device makers to 25 percent of government subsidies for biotechnology industry from 8 percent, Wu Ming-fa (吳明發), chief executive officer of the biotech institute, said by telephone .

The bill would expand the coverage of the Act For The Development Of Biotech And New Pharmaceuticals Industry (生技新藥產業發展條例) to 56 percent of local medical device producers from 7 percent, the Chinese-language Commercial Times said.

The government on Saturday failed to meet the timetable it had set a year ago to include companies making Class 2 medical devices, such as disposable contact lenses, under the act.

The government promised on Aug. 31 last year to add 33 suggestions made by pharmaceutical companies into the act, and it will continue implementing these changes suggested by companies, Minister Without Portfolio Simon Chang (張善政) said at the meeting.

Meanwhile, biomedical group Microbio (中天) chairman Lu Kung-ming (路孔明) yesterday criticized the government for failing to reach an agreement with Chinese government to set up a unified standard for drug companies across the Taiwan Strait.

In response, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said he had discussed the issue with the Mainland Affairs Council and Ministry of Health and Welfare, and would conduct further talks with the Chinese government.

Local vaccine maker Adimmune Corp (國光生技) chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said a meeting between Taiwanese and Chinese companies and officials is to take place on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 in China.

“The talk is likely to facilitate establishing a standard agreed by both sides concerning new drug applications, but it will still require both governments’ approvals for such a deal to be realized,” Chan said.

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