Originally Published MDDI December 2001
NEWS & ANALYSIS
The total market for infusion pumps—including large-volume, syringe infusion, enteral feeding, pain, and ambulatory infusion pumps—reached $463.4 million in 2000 and is projected to jump to $606.5 million by 2007, according to a new analysis by Frost & Sullivan (San Jose, CA). The projected increase is being driven by growing demand for ambulatory drug delivery systems as more patients spend their recovery in alternative facilities and become more mobile.
According to the U.S. Infusion Pump Markets report, this shift toward alternative care is driving new business strategies. "Some companies are placing free infusion pumps with hospitals and making money through the disposables that go with them," says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Dipti Malaviya. He explains that participants hope to attract the attention of healthcare purchasers by bundling pumps with intravenous solutions and other disposables, then selling these products at discounted prices. While this is an effective strategy for big companies with broad product lines, more-focused firms will find it difficult to compete, according to Frost & Sullivan. "Companies that manufacture only infusion pumps are at a distinct disadvantage," Malaviya adds. "Fostering alliances with larger enterprises would enable smaller businesses to also offer lower-priced, packaged solutions."
The report emphasizes, however, that all market participants must focus research and development on products that provide accurate dosing. "New technology that eliminates human error and ensures accuracy in dosage and flow-rate calculation would provide a significant competitive edge," says Malaviya.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) issued a warning to hospitals in November 2000 concerning the improper use of infusion pumps. The major concerns identified by the JCAHO included human errors that might lead to incorrect dosage, wrong medication, or the free-flow of medicine into patients. Frost & Sullivan suggests that to address these concerns, infusion pump manufacturers must devote substantial resources to product innovation. Developing new applications that ensure greater accuracy are also expected to help generate sales.
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