Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) big medical devices and diagnostics unit anticipates that pressure on product prices in Europe will rise over the long term but not immediately, the unit's top official said Thursday.
J&J also said it expects the portion of the $350 billion devices and diagnostics market it competes in to grow at a faster rate than the overall market.
Additionally, the company anticipates that unit will make about 80 "significant" regulatory filings between 2010 and 2010.
J&J, which is dealing with fallout from the recent recall of children's medicines, is holding an all-day review Thursday for the devices and diagnostics unit. That unit grew sales by 2% to $23.6 billion last year and became J&J's largest segment, eclipsing a pharmaceutical business that has been pressured by competition from generic drugs.
The segment derived more than half of its sales last year from outside the U.S. A big question for device and drug companies these days is how the European debt crisis will affect product prices as governments try to rein in health spending.
"I think longer term we clearly see there being increased pricing pressure," Alex Gorsky, worldwide chairman for J&J's devices and diagnostics unit, said during the meeting. But there are reasons to believe it won't be an "immediate" issue, and doesn't mirror the situation with drug prices, he said.
These reasons include the tendering systems used to purchase devices and the dynamics between hospitals and governments, he said.
Pricing in Europe remained a top issue when analysts asked questions. Gorsky told them the pricing issue is difficult to forecast. He also said J&J hasn't seen a slowdown in procedure volumes that could also impact sales, but added "we'll have to watch closely."
Healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Thursday revealed growth strategies and product pipeline information for its Medical Devices & Diagnostics Segment. The company said the segment was its largest, and that new products and acquisitions would help sustain its market-leading position in the $350 billion, worldwide medical device and diagnostics market.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company provided information on products that have been launched already or are on the anvil for the current fiscal, from its seven global franchises.
Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a maker of surgical device solutions for minimally invasive and open surgery; and Advanced Sterilization Products is rolling out a host of new products, J&J said. They include new energy instruments as part of its HARMONIC family of technology that delivers precise ultrasonic energy to minimize thermal tissue damage to the patient, while providing surgical efficiency.
Further, Ethicon continued to focus on patient comfort and surgeon ease-of-use as it built its portfolio of hernia repair products with ETHICON PHYSIOMESH Flexible Composite Mesh and its first entry into the hernia mesh fixation market with ETHICON SECURESTRAP 5mm Strap Fixation Device.
Ethicon Endo-Surgery would make a BLA filing in the U.S for its Fibrin Pad in the fourth quarter. The product combines two biomaterials and two biologics to stop bleeding during surgical procedures.