Medical Device Recalls at Eight-Month High


The quarterly ExpertRECALL Index released today indicates that more than 123 million medical device units were recalled during the second quarter of 2012, an eight-quarter high. The medical device category includes such products as knee replacements, syringes, gels used in ultrasound procedures, dental implants, and products used in heart surgery.

The number of medical device recalls governed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declined 13% compared with the previous quarter, but the number of products affected by such announcements broke 100 million units for the first time since the third quarter of 2010.

"The fact that more than 120 million medical device units were affected by recalls last quarter cannot be ignored, particularly because it comes during a time when America's 50 million aging Baby Boomers are placing increasingly high demand on life-saving medical devices," said a representative of Stericycle ExpertRECALL.

Companies affected by recent recalls include Coviden PLC (NYSE: COV), which this week announced a voluntary recall of some DGPHP RFA high-power single use grounding pads and Cool-tip RFA electrode kits that contain those pads. It also recently announced a voluntary global recall of some adult tracheostomy tubes.

CareFusion Corp. (NYSE: CFN) in June initated a recall of its EnVe ventilator due to potential risks they could compromise patient ventilation. The company also announced a voluntary recall of its AirLife Infant Breathing Circuit in May.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) in July recalled certain Architect Toco IGG Reagent kits. And General Electric Co.'s (NYSE: GE) medical systems unit recalled certain X-ray machines due to faulty wheels and casters.

And Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) this week recalled certain Hemorrhoidal circular staplers and accessories for potential risks of a misfire. Ouch.

All these stocks are up less than 1% in morning trading. Coviden is near $57.08 in a 52-week range of $41.35 to $57.86. CareFusion is near $27.14 in a 52-week range of $22.55 to $27.29. Abbott Labs is near $65.91 in a 52-week range of $48.63 to $67.45. And Johnson & Johnson is near $68.06 in a 52-week range of $60.83 to $69.75.

Trey Thoelcke

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Healthcare, Medical Tagged: ABT, CFN, COV, GE, JNJ