Despite Johnson & Johnson’s sluggish start to the year in its medical device business, the company is holding to its strategy to launch 30 new products by next year. Globally, medical device sales dropped 4.6% to $6.3 billion, with U.S. sales declining 6.1%.
During yesterday’s earnings call, Dominic Caruso, VP, finance and CFO at Johnson & Johnson referred to the company’s collaboration agreement with Google Life Sciences to develop a surgical robotics program, which was announced in March, as a step to “accelerate growth through innovation.” Caruso remained positive about the company’s direction in the medical device space, but acknowledged the negatives—pricing in its vision care business, which he called a “drag” year-over-year, and pricing headwinds in its diabetes business.
“We’re very optimistic about the fact that the medical device business will return to grow, especially once we lap some of these comparisons,” said Caruso. “We see the benefits of the new products that we’re launching.” Some of this optimism comes from shedding the Cordis business, which the company sees as a commodity business at this point, and holding on to a more fruitful space in cardiovascular devices with Biosense Webster, which offers products that diagnose and treat cardiac arrhythmias.