Hospira pump biz nears chopping block as Pfizer mulls sale: Bloomberg

When Pfizer ($PFE) snatched up Hospira last year for $15 billion, the pharma giant said that it didn't have any plans to abandon Hospira's device business once the deal closes. But now Pfizer is having a change of heart, weighing an option to sell Hospira's pump and devices unit as Hospira struggles with its beleaguered business.

LifeCare PCA Infusion System--Courtesy of Hospira

The sale is still in early stages and Pfizer may choose not to hand off Hospira's devices and pump unit at this time, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. But if Hospira's pump business does go on the chopping block, it could bring in up to $2 billion for Pfizer, sources said. Pfizer is keeping quiet about its plans, with a representative from the company declining to comment to the news outlet.

A sale would mark the end of a chapter for Hospira, which has tried over the past few years to revive its floundering devices unit. In May 2013, Hospira laid out a plan to boost business, saying that it would retire older infusion pumps and roll out next-generation products including its Plum A+, LifeCare PCA and Sapphire pumps.

The company also made moves to resolve some of its regulatory woes, and so far has made some progress. In 2014, the FDA lifted an import ban on one of Hospira's infusion pump manufacturing facilities, opening the door for renewed sales of the devices in the U.S. Since then, the Lake Forest, IL-based company scored FDA clearance for two of its new infusion pumps, the SapphirePlus and the Plum360 Infusion System.

But in August, Hospira faced a new setback after the FDA told hospitals to stop using the company's Symbiq Infusion System due to cybersecurity concerns. It wasn't the first time Hospira dealt with cybersecurity issues for its infusion pumps. But it was "the first time the FDA has encouraged the transition to other products because of a cybersecurity-related vulnerability," agency spokeswoman Angela Stark told FierceMedicalDevices at the time.

Hospira responded by saying that it would pull its Symbiq infusion device from the market. "Supporting safe and effective delivery of medication is Hospira's priority" and the company "has been actively working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FDA" to address reports of cyberattacks on its infusion pumps, Hospira said at the time.

- read the Bloomberg story