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ICU Medical’s Acquisition of Smiths Medical Could Create New Powerhouse in Infusion, Says Signify Research

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 25 Feb 2022
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Image: ICU Medical has completed acquisition of Smiths Medical (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)
Image: ICU Medical has completed acquisition of Smiths Medical (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

ICU Medical Inc. (San Clemente, CA, USA) has completed its acquisition of Smiths Medical (Minneapolis, MN, USA) from Smiths Group plc., creating a new powerhouse in infusion, according to Signify Research (Cranfield, UK), an independent supplier of market intelligence and consultancy to the global healthcare technology industry.

The Smiths Medical business includes syringe and ambulatory infusion devices, vascular access, and vital care products. The acquisition aims to support the expansion of ICU Medical’s infusion therapy product line and expand the portfolio into newer clinical care markets. When combined with ICU Medical's existing businesses, the combined companies create a leading infusion therapy company with estimated pro forma combined revenues of approximately USD 2.5 billion.

In its analysis of the impact of the acquisition on the infusion pump market, Signify notes that ICU Medical has been increasing its global share of the infusion pump market for several years. Its acquisition of Hospira’s critical care business in 2017 enabled it to gain a strong foothold in the large-volume infusion pump market and boost its presence both in the US and internationally. Its broader offering in monitoring and oncology has also enabled it to expand its reach into wider clinical markets.

COVID-19 has impacted the infusion market significantly over the last two years and Signify estimates that ICU Medical gained share in 2020 over 2019, partly owing to COVID’s impact. ICU Medical has a strong presence in the North American infusion pump market due to the legacy position of Hospira’s solutions. Smiths Medical has also been a core player within the infusion pumps market for several years and held a strong position in the syringe, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) and ambulatory infusion markets. Smiths Medical also had a strong presence in the North American region.

Smiths Medical has a broader offering of solutions, ranging from infusion to patient monitoring and respiratory care. Signify estimates that the combined infusion product offering from both Smiths Medical and ICU Medical will position the combined company well to gain share, and it is expected to compete with BD, Baxter, and B Braun for a leading position of the global infusion market.

In its analysis of the impact of the acquisition on the wider clinical care market, Signify expects the combination of product portfolios from both ICU Medical and Smiths Medical to enable the company to expand its offering not only within the infusion market but also across other clinical care markets. Developing a broader product offering to enable more comprehensive purchases across the care continuum has been one of the drivers of several other recent acquisitions and was a key element in this deal. Movement toward value-based care has resulted in healthcare purchasers assessing the complete offering each company is able to make, in addition to their return on investment. Digital solutions have become increasingly important to help record and monitor real-time patient data. This has also driven the need for interoperable solutions that can communicate with other devices in addition to electronic health records, both in the hospital and the home. By developing a stronger product offering across clinical markets vendors can support a wider number of clinical practices and support streamlining not only purchasing processes, but also clinical workflow.

Signify believes that the two companies are also likely to not only assess their infusion operations, but their wider offerings in the patient monitoring and information systems markets. Movement toward digital solutions has created opportunities for vendors to further enhance clinical practice with newer advanced solutions and supporting services. Similar movements have been made within the infusion, patient monitor, cardiology, and respiratory markets, where acquisitions have been made to enhance and increase the clinical offering from the purchasing company. Signify had earlier discussed other acquisitions such as Baxter Healthcare’s acquisition of Hillrom (who had acquired several companies prior to its acquisition), Nihon Kohden’s acquisition of AMP3D, Philips’ acquisitions of Cardiologs and Biotelemetry (and Capsule Technologies), and Getinge’s acquisition of Talis Clinical LLC.

Interest in the clinical markets has been increased following on from the pandemic, leading to several companies looking to enhance their product lines with additional solutions. Investment into research and development is often costly, and the addition of a well-established solution via acquisition seems to be an easier route to market for international vendors. There are fewer developments of new product launches that have triggered as much discussion. However, launch of solutions from smaller vendors that largely serve just their domestic market, especially those in China, have been more frequent. Once the acquisition trend settles, Signify expects the launch of new products to come from these newly established organizations to help compete in the increasingly competitive environment.

Related Links:
ICU Medical Inc.
Smiths Medical 
Signify Research 

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