CRM slump began in 2001, pacemaker trends show | On Call

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — A study of pacemaker usage confirmed what most medical device makers already know all too well – the U.S. cardiac rhythm management market just isn’t what is used to be.

Stagnancy in the CRM arena has been an anchor weighing down many of the largest medical device makers, including rival medical device makers St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) and Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), both of which have lamented the sluggish market and its impact on their quarterly earnings.

Pacemaker use increased 56% between 1993 and 2009, but most of that occurred in the 1990s and has leveled off since hitting a growth peak in 2001, according to a Reuters Health report.

Meanwhile, pacemaker patients have gotten older and sicker, the median age of a dual-chamber pacemaker recipient rising from 73 to 75 years old and exhibiting more co-morbidities than in 1993, according to the newswire.

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) CEO Omar Ishrak has been more optimistic than his peers in predicting stabilization in U.S. CRM.

"The overall market is down in the U.S., but we do see that implant volume is growing," Ishrak said during a conference call with investors last month. "We were pleased to see relative sequential stability in the market."

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