New: telling the untold story of Project Aura, a 13-year, multi-million dollar federal project to hold a fleet of affordable emergency ventilators. It all fell apart when big business got involved.
THE ULTIMATE KILLER ACQUISITION Officials and executives at rival ventilator companies suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business.
I'm STILL furious about this. We saw clearly & acted to increase number of ventilators available during a pandemic. We innovated. A company designed a great model to our specifications. Read on how plan fell apart. We could be so much safer today.
I'm STILL furious about this. We saw clearly and acted to address increasing the number of ventilators during a pandemic. We innovated. A company designed a great model to our specifications. Read how the plan fell apart. We could be so much safer today.
How a merger approved by Obama in 2012 ensured we don’t have enough ventilators. Monopolies kill!
Exclusive: The US government had a plan to build a huge fleet of easy-to-use, inexpensive ventilators. Then a big company got greedy, and the project unraveled. By
"Government officials and executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business."
I’m so angry. We in the anti-monopoly movement have for years been calling to stop “killer acquisitions,” when a company buys a competitor just to eliminate it. This report takes that term to a grotesque level.
As the coronavirus ravages the U.S. health care system, the scarcity of ventilators has been forcing doctors to make life-or-death decisions about who gets to breathe and who does not. Our investigation helps explain the acute shortage of medical devices.
NEW: To prepare for pandemics, the U.S. worked with a small company for years to advance a low-cost portable ventilator. It fell apart after a multi-billion dollar company bought the firm. The new executives saw the project as not sufficiently profitable.
Why don’t we have a cheap easy to use ventilator? Unchecked corporate consolidation.
Covidien is one of many villains in the US #COVID response. Newport had govt contract to make cheap, simple vents for pandemic response. Covidien bought them and crushed so wouldn’t compete w existing product. You have blood on your hands. via
For 13 years, public health officials have been trying to build a large fleet of inexpensive portable ventilators to deploy in a crisis — but even with money budgeted and federal contracts signed, private companies got in the way and it never happened.
Have y'all read this? A multibillion dollar corp (now part of ) deliberately sabotaged the ventilator stockpile federal contract. Apparently it was because they didn't want affordable ventilators on the market. They were called "Covidien."
Things veered off course when a multibillion-dollar maker of medical devices, Covidien, bought the small California company, Newport Medical Instruments, that had been hired to design the new machines. The project ultimately produced zero ventilators.
PROJECT AURA: The head of the CDC sees a prototype for a cheap, easy-to-use, portable ventilator … that was 9 years ago. It never got made. , and I explored why. THREAD / 1
"... the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis."
The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed. - The New York Times
Covidien’s purchase of Newport should be investigated to determine if it was to protect the profitability of its more expensive ventilator line. If so, this is like opioids where profits were more important than lives and their should be accountability.
NEW: Read about the cheaper, more durable ventilator that never was. It’s a tale about just what happens when critical public-health projects are left to private companies. SPOILER: it doesn’t end well.
This pretty much sums up the crisis that for profit healthcare in America keeps landing us in.
If true, Covidien morally culpable for deaths: “Government officials & executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits...”
More than a decade ago, the US decided we needed a cheap, portable pandemic ventilator. Grants were issued. Things stalled. A few weeks ago I learned the first shipment had not yet been made. My colleagues have the story:
"Government officials and executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business."
The profit motive should have no place in #healthcare "Outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with preparing for a future crisis"
Recent reporting from the suggested that Covidien's buyout of Newport was a killer acquisition: . So, I did some digging and last Friday, published my findings: . Here's a thread of what wasn't in the NYT. 1/12
Brilliant and infuriating expose in the by my former classmate on how corporate greed quashed a federal contract for cheap ventilators. We CANNOT leave public health in private hands. #MedicareForAll #covidien
The stalled efforts to create cheap, easy-to-use ventilators highlight the perils of outsourcing public-health projects to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a crisis.
A medical device company wanted to build an affordable, emergency ventilator that could fill the national stockpile. The government gave them $6.1 million to do it. Things were going fine — until a bigger company bought them and squashed the effort.
13 years ago, U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators
So the federal govt had a contract w/ small, innovative Newport to make 10s of thousands of cheap, efficient ventilators. A bigger co literally named COVIDien bought them & crushed the project to protect its own more expensive ventilators. NETFLIX DOC PLS!
Another important story on the virus calamity: The US market system undermined a long drive by the US government to get private cos. to develop affordable ventilators. The companies, focused on profits, failed to deliver. Now Americans are dying.
Why don’t we have more ventilators? So many product stories are the same story: monopolies are bad
The govt gave a small firm a contract to design cheap easy-to-use ventilators, for nightmares like this one The firm nailed it "I got all excited” sez And then.. A conglomerate that makes $ vents bought the firm & *killed the project*
The dirty trick that killed off the US's attempt to procure a stockpile of ventilators set the project back by years that, it turned out, we didn't have. Philips now has a contract to deliver what Newport couldn't. They haven't shipped. eof/
Based on the reporting on this deal, all signs point to the conclusion that this was a killer acquisition. (1/5)
The small company contracted by the government to build large numbers of inexpensive ventilators was the acquired by Covidien who killed the competing less expense ventilator.
This is what happens when health is a matter of private profit rather than a public good.
“The stalled efforts to create a new class of cheap, easy-to-use ventilators highlight the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies” ⁦⁩ ⁦⁩ ⁦
I am livid about this. The US *was* developing a cheaper ventilator for emergency stockpiles, but a competitor was threatened, bought the contractor and mothballed the project. Why didn't the gov't just buy the IP and build it themselves?
A company thought it could make money off a big federal ventilator contract, then it got bought by one that didn’t. Fascinating backstory to our ventilator shortage, from & .
“The stalled efforts ... highlight the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis”
I encourage everyone to read the article that shows how we tried to get cheap $3000 ventilators years ago, but the company that got the contract was bought by a larger company who makes $10000 ventilators and then bailed on their governmental contract.
Tonight on #WashWeekPBS explains why hospitals around the country do not have enough ventilators to treat patients with COVID-19. Read more of her analysis here.
There is a permanent beat emerging from the coronavirus crisis and its name is "maddening."
via ⁦⁩ Everything wrong with our medical system in one story....
The U.S. has known for many years we need a whole lot more ventilators. How come we still don't have enough? #covid19 #coronavirus
13 years ago, a group of US public health officials came up with a plan to address one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators. It failed because monopolist sharks swallowed the little fish producing low-cost products
The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.
Lotta missteps in this story so you really gotta admire the authors' efforts to make it all abt capitalism. 😕
"Government officials and executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that #Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing #Ventilator business.”
"they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business." The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.
In a terribly ironic twist it seems Covidien killed the government’s low cost ventilator project from 2014 that we could have use for #COVID19
The U.S. tried years ago to build a new fleet of ventilators. But the mission collapsed. That failure helps explain the acute shortage now. 
Did you see this: . The stink of big business putting profit above all else and a government unable to advocate for the public good because our country has forgotten the important role of government in providing public goods and planning for risks.
Hey , & , where did you get the $3000 figure for your ventilator story? () I just pulled what seems to be the original BARDA RFP () and it says the ventilators should cost $2000 or less.
The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.
"Government officials and executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business."
The government contracted a company to make cheap portable ventilators back in 2014, but then a larger company bought that company, likely in part because it didn’t want cheap portable ventilators on the market.
We need antitrust enforcement: "Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business'
So with hindsight, what was the right strategy? To price the ventilators at a level that would yield decent profit? Not to leave production to the private sector in first place? “The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.”
USA: profit > people.
Interesting story about Project Aura
Schon vor 13 Jahren haben ein paar schlaue Menschen in den USA erkannt, dass es zu wenig Beatmungsgeräte gibt und einen Großauftrag platziert. Bevor die beauftragte Firma liefern konnte, wurde sie jedoch von einem milliardenschwerden Konkurrenten gekauft.
Stalled efforts to create cheap, easy-to-use ventilators highlight perils of outsourcing projects with public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits = not always consistent with gov goal of preparing for a future crisis
Why we lack a national stockpile of tens of thousands of innovative, inexpensive ventilators. And a case study of how big business is the enemy of optimal health care. (Somewhat surprised to discover that the corporate villain here, Covidien, is Irish.)
How private industry destroyed the low-cost ventilator...
The stalled efforts highlight the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis.
Here’s the takeaway:Feds find the cheapest deal they can to design and build emergency-only ventilators. And private sector fails to deliver bcuz no real profit in cornering market on doomsday scenario. Is what you get when mkt defines what really matters.
The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.
Interesting story that shows the problem with relying on the private sector and the free market to develop critical technologies
#oncoalert The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed. Failure delayed development of an affordable ventilator by at least half a decade The government started with new company in 2014 whose products have not yet been delivered.
Between these two stories lies an extraordinary failure of this country to take health seriously and ahead of profits. A primer set that doesn't work, and greed in the ventilator market.
“stalled efforts to create a new class of cheap, simple ventilators highlight the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not consistent with preparing for a crisis.
Not-so-creative destruction. "Govt officials & executives at rival ventilator companies sd they suspected Covidien acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business."
“Government officials and executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business.”
YOU DON'T SAY: "stalled efforts to create cheap, easy-to-use ventilators highlight perils of outsourcing projects w/ public-health implications; maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis."
The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed. - The New York Times
Important story, but authors' own takeaway (episode highlights "perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies") is bizarre.
Corporate medical device consolidation, perhaps to block cheaper machines going to market, prevents smart plans --The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.
Wow. Incredible reporting. So who should be held accountable for taking their eye off the ball on this one? #covid19 via
This is both upsetting and encouraging. Good to know that the government has been trying since 2006 to prepare for exactly the situation we have now.
The irony is not lost that the corporate name is Covidien in this story that one simply could not make up.
The lack of ventilators is a cautionary tale of the limits of private-public partnerships: The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.
How #pandemic preparedness fails: This NYT piece shows how the US blew the opp to stockpile #ventilators, even tho #CDC & others knew what was coming. Laissez-faire capitalism vs public health.
USA tried to build a new fleet of ventilators: the mission failed via Is it wise for UK to source ventilators from unproven vendors?
. The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed. #covid19
Understatement of the day: "[Private companies'] focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis."
“... their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis.” haha, surprise
Haven't read yet; saving for later. #jwf #covid19
Great job, private sector. We should trust you more (not). #Ventilators #COVID-19 via
This tale of messing up spans Bush, Obama and Trump. The unfettered medical device industry runs for the bottom line, not the public good. One of the strongest lobbies around. The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.
Understatement of the day and reason #857 for nationalized health care: "[Private companies'] focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis." #MedicareForAll #M4A #UniversalHealthcare
“The perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies: their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis.”
So a company named Covidien is responsible for why the U.S. never got the planned fleet of ventilators."The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators." The Mission Failed.