J&J CFO: US Health Reform Could Spur Medical-Device M&A Last update: 11/12/2009 12:46:50 PM
By Peter Loftus Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) financial chief said Thursday U.S. health-care reform has the potential to spur consolidation in the medical-device industry, and J&J intends to pursue deals in this and other areas of health-care. Proposed health-care legislation would tax medical devices, an area of concern for the industry. J&J, New Brunswick, N.J., is a medical-device industry leader. "If a device tax puts more pressure on smaller med-tech companies, I think that may be an opportunity to see more consolidation in the med-tech space in particular," J&J Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso told a Credit Suisse health-care conference Thursday. Caruso said J&J plans to continue making acquisitions in the device arena, as well as collaborations and purchases in the pharmaceutical and consumer-health products categories. He signaled that J&J was unlikely to pursue large-scale combinations in the pharmaceutical sector, as Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Merck & Co. (MRK) have done this year. "I would say the track record so far has not been good in terms of bringing together large pharma companies and either getting much more productive [drug research] or being able to withstand pricing pressure," Caruso said.