Power Morcellators Spur Bill Aimed at Stronger Medical Device Monitoring

Prompted by the controversial use of power morcellators, which have been linked to the spread cancer, an amendment  to a new federal medical research bill concerning the safety monitoring of medical devices passed the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2015. The bill’s amendment stipulated that “unique device identifiers,” such as the make and model number of devices used during medical treatments, should be added to electronic patient health records so safety can be more closely monitored and devices can be properly tracked and regulated.

The amendment is part of a bill dubbed 21st Century Cures and is aimed at increasing federal funding for medical research. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA) was inspired to push for the amendment in light of the dangers associated with laparoscopic power morcellators; namely, their risk of spreading undetected uterine cancer in an estimated 1 in 350 women.

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