With the wrap-up of the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Boston last week, one of the major investment bank's came away with an encouraging message: The market for implantable cardioverter defibrillators has hit bottom.
Goldman Sachs analyst David Roman and his team write in a May 13 report that they predict the market accelerating from a 4.4% decline in the 2012 first quarter to 1% growth by the end of this year. That's certainly not a lot, by any means. But if their prediction is true, it would represent a significant rebound from the 12% drop the market faced in 2011. That drastic plunge, the report notes, took place because of reductions in inventory, a change in physician "prescribing habits" and a Department of Justice investigation into the overuse of the implants.
Goldman Sachs believes that inventories will start to normalize and that will help demand rebound. Still those numbers are still anemic by any means. And as we told you last week, Boston Scientific ($BSX), Medtronic ($MDT), St. Jude Medical ($STJ) and Biotronik are all trying to boost declining ICD sales with the launch of new or updated products.
But knowing that a market has hit bottom is heartening, because the only way to go at that point is up. --Mark Hollmer (email | Twitter)