Matt Stoller (ProMarket)
The New York Times had an important story about the ventilator market a few days ago, with Nicholas Kulish, Sarah Kliff, and Jessica Silver-Greenberg reporting why a government effort to stock up on the machines after the SARS epidemic failed.
In 2006, in attempt to learn from what might happen should a SARS-like disease hit here, civil servants in government decided to stockpile ventilators.
They wanted both more ventilators and better ventilators than were on the market. So government officials found a small innovative corporation called Newport Medical and contracted with the corporation to design a cheaper and better version.
Ventilators at the time typically went for about $10,000 each, and getting the price down to $3,000 would be tough. But Newport’s executives bet they would be able to make up for any losses by selling the ventilators around the world…