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Purchasing Insight: Watch infusion pump prices as market surges for intraveneous therapy

The infusion pump market will grow to $3.6 billion by 2017.

James Laskaris, Contributing Writer

The rapid development of pharmaceuticals and prescribed combinations has made administering intravenous drug therapy more involved than ever before, leading to a new generation of “smart pumps” designed to assist providers in determining drug compatibility as well as calculating dose and delivery rates.

Published data has projected the infusion pump market will grow to $3.6 billion by 2017 with the majority of growth occurring in home health, wearable insulin pumps, and consumables. According to MD Buyline data, the capital portion has grown by 5 percent in the last 12 months for the hospital market.

Growth in the market has been encouraged by bonuses from the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) act, which have helped hospitals use IT and infusion pumps together to reduce errors and manual data entry. This networking has provided users with several different advantages, including those outlined by the AAMI Foundation:

  • Auto-programming, where orders are sent to the pump and then confirmed by a nurse before starting infusions
  • Auto-verification, where a nurse manually programs the infusion pump and the programming is then automatically checked against a medication order
  • Auto-documentation, where pump programming, status, and alerts are automatically fed into the patient’s electronic medication record for confirmation

In addition to smart pump use and networking, pain management is another area of growth. Growth in this areais driven by healthcare facilities’ desire and need to boost their Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores, which will be influenced by patient responses to pain management. These scores determine CMS incentive bonuses under Medicare’s Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program. Pain also is a frequent cause of hospital readmissions, and CMS can penalize hospitals that have a substantial number of readmissions with reduced payments.

To deliver the wide array of drug therapies, the infusion market comprises large-volume and small-volume infusion pumps. Large volume pumps can administer fluids such as glucose and deliver drug therapies. The cost of these devices ranges from $2,184 to $6,865. The cost will more than double, however, when these devices are networked into the hospital, pharmacy, or electronic medical records, the cost will more than double.

Small-volume infusion pumps can be either syringe or patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) infusion pumps. Syringe pumps are used to deliver small volumes of drugs like antibiotics. These pumps cost from $2,380 to $5,982. PCA pumps are used to deliver pain medication on demand. These devices deliver small doses of medication via a pressure pad or button that is activated by the patient. They are preprogrammed with set limits to avoid intoxication or overdoses. PCA pumps cost from $1,800 to $4,500.

Service contracts for pump hardware range from $150 to $250 per pump, but most hospitals with an active clinical engineering department can perform repairs in-house. “Smart pumps” are software dependent and require annual software licenses, which can cost 10 to 15 percent of the replacement value of the system.

Infusion Pumps

Large-Volume Pumps;

Low High Average
$2,184 $6,865 $3,746

Syringe Pumps 

Low High Average
$2,380 $5,982 $3,409

PCA Pumps 

Low High Average
$1,800 $4,500 $3,440

Source: MD Buyline, mdbuyline.com

Please note these numbers have been adjusted to exclude special deals, outliers and unique circumstances.

James Laskaris is an emerging technology analyst at MD Buyline.

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