Manufacturers dispute researcher's market analysis

Sunday, June 19, 2005

NEW YORK -- Manufacturers generated revenues of $5.2 billion in home medical equipment products in 2004, according to a new study released last week by Kalorama Information. The report predicts that vendor sales will jump by 8% annually, reaching $7.5 billion by 2009.

While manufacturers report that some of the report's findings are close to the mark -- i.e. Invacare said its sales of home medical equipment mirrored Kalorama's finding of $602 million, a 50% market share -- other findings are grossly out of touch.

For example, Kalorama reports that Graham-Field's total sales for 2004 were an estimated $200.1 million. But G-F CEO Irwin Selinger told HME News last month that the company hoped to reach $100 million in sales this year.

There's also some question about Respironics stature as a manufacturer of oxygen concentrators. After Invacare, Kalorama cites Respironics with its Millenium concentrator as the second largest producer, with 2004 sales $66 million and a 30% share of the market.

Kalorama's new study, "The U.S. Market for Home Care Products," is the fourth edition of an omnibus survey of market segments that include HME, infusion, kidney dialysis, respiratory therapy, monitors and supplies.

In the HME market segment, Kalorama found that wheelchairs accounted for about one-third of total sales; bath safety followed with 27% of sales, and beds made up 23% of sales.

Manufacturer sales of respiratory equipment totaled $494 million in 2004, with oxygen concentrators accounting for about half the dollar volume, nebulizers at 25% of the volume and ventilators at 15%, the report states.