Healthcare Business News

CareFusion net rises on respiratory, single-use surgical product sales

By Joe Carlson
Posted: May 6, 2014 - 7:00 am ET

Sales of respiratory and single-use surgical products drove most of the revenue growth in the third quarter at San Diego-based hospital supplier CareFusion Corp., which posted 7% revenue growth over the same quarter last year.

CareFusion late Monday reported third-quarter net income of $102 million, a 21% increase compared with the $84 million in net income last year. Revenue in the third quarter of its fiscal 2014 rose to $968 million, from $901 million the same period last year.

Year-to-date, CareFusion posted $277 million in net income for the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared to $276 million for the same period last year. Revenues were nearly the same as well, totaling $2.72 billion for the first three quarters of 2014, and $2.65 billion for the same period last year.

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All told, sales of disposable products and reusable surgical instruments in CareFusion's procedural solutions division accounted for $80 million in sales growth. The results come as the company settles into its $500 million acquisition of medical supplier Vital Signs and faces questions about the clinical superiority of one of CareFusion's well-known products, the ChloraPrep line of antiseptics.

Last December, CareFusion paid GE Healthcare $500 million to buy Vital Signs, a major manufacturer of single-use products for respiratory care and anesthesiology. The company was posting about $250 million in annual revenue before the sale.

For the three months that ended March 31, CareFusion's sales of disposable and reusable equipment for respiratory therapy grew to $138 million in revenue, an increase of 75% compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, CareFusion's infection-prevent division revenue for the quarter ended March 31 grew to $168 million, 12% higher compared to the same quarter last year.

In January, CareFusion entered a non-prosecution agreement with federal officials and paid a $40 million settlement to resolve allegations that it marketed ChloraPrep to doctors for unapproved uses and attempted to pay a former quality of care expert at the National Quality Forum to influence the group's 2010 patient safety recommendations. The company denied any wrong-doing.

Chlorhexidine-containing products like ChloraPrep are widely recommended in clinical guidelines, but the NQF is now removing its 2010 endorsement of ChloraPrep's specific chemical formula.

Instead, the new guidelines will endorse the general use of antiseptics containing chlorhexidine, which is used because it keeps surgical sites sterile hours after application. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also expected to weigh in with updated guidelines on the use of chlorhexidine for surgical-site safety.

Follow Joe Carlson on Twitter: @MHJCarlson

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