Timothy R. Ring, Chairman and CEO
John H. Weiland, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer
Christopher S. Holland, Sr. VP and Chief Financial Officer
Samrat S. Khichi, Sr. VP, General Counsel, and Secretary
Tony Johnson, VP, Global Operations
Scott T. Lowry, VP and Treasurer
Frank Lupisella Jr., VP and Controller
Gerard D. Porreca III, VP, Quality, Regulatory, and Medical Affairs
Patrick D. Roche, VP, Information Technology Solutions
Patricia G. Christian, VP, Regulatory Affairs
Gin Schultz, VP, Quality Assurance
NO. OF EMPLOYEES: 16,300
GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS: Murray Hill, N.J.
“It is easier to judge the mind of a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
— Pierre-Marc-Gaston, duc de Levis
Albert Einstein loved asking questions.
His theory of relativity, in fact, is reportedly rooted in a simple, almost child-like query: What if I rode a beam of light across the universe?
Although he is widely regarded as a genius, Einstein never considered himself exceptionally intelligent. “It’s not that I’m so smart,” he once quipped, “but I stay with the questions much longer.”
Clearly, Einstein considered questions and curiosity as keys to learning.
Those keys have been a staple in Karen Hallwyler’s professional life for more than three decades, using them first to help her students unlock their aptitude for the French language, then later on herself to make better healthcare decisions.
“Asking questions is the only way you learn,” Hallwyler states matter-of-factly.
Indeed, it was only through proper questioning that Hallwyler determined the best way to manage her chronic urinary retention, the aftereffect of a 1998 bladder operation. Although she quickly learned to self-catheterize several times a day, Hallwyler became frustrated with the lack of customer service from the catheter manufacturers and/or suppliers she was using.
“I had tried several other catheter companies through the years and I wasn’t happy with any of them,” the retired French teacher recalled in a Vimeo video. “I had no help from any of the companies as far as usage, any questions, or any ideas on different tips to make it easier to use.”
Then, one day in 2013, Hallwyler saw a television ad for Liberator, a U.S. provider of direct-to-consumer medical supplies focusing primarily on sterile urinary catheters, urological supplies, and ostomy devices. Intrigued, Hallwyler thought, “What have I got to lose?”
Only resentment, frustration, and discontent, as it turns out. Hallwyler knew immediately—during her first conversation with a Liberator representative, actually—that she had made the right decision. “I’ve had the same representative since I started with Liberator in 2013,” Hallwyler noted. “She knows about my health issues, so she calls with ideas when I have questions. There’s nothing I can ask that will embarrass her.”
Last spring, just several months after closing its $181 million merger with C.R. Bard Inc., Hallwyler’s Liberator representative told her about the combined company’s new hydrophilic intermittent catheter, Magic3 Go. Featuring a new coating that keeps the catheter hydrated, the three-layered silicone device is designed to be gentle on delicate urethral tissue.
Excited by the prospects, Hallwyler volunteered to sample the catheters. And she hasn’t looked back since.
“I like Magic3 Go because first of all, I was given some instructions on how to use it,” the retired French teacher said. “Magic3 Go helps me remain very active. I go visit my young grandchildren very often and I still have a passion for French. I’ve had a tutoring business in my home since 2003. [My husband] Jim and I go out with each other every so often just to have a little break and catch up with each other. We go on coffee dates. We’re still best friends after 47 and a half years so we love to catch up with each other. The Magic3 Go catheter has helped me maintain a very active lifestyle and a very happy lifestyle. And as they say en français, ‘la vie est belle.’ ”
Life certainly is beautiful these days for Hallwyler, who maintains her schedule of tutoring, family visits, and coffee dates via Bard’s Magic3 catheters. The devices, in fact, have been a blessing to both patient and company, as they contributed to a 15 percent net sales growth in basic drainage products last year. That gain helped push Bard’s Urology business above its 2016 guidance range with a company-high 13 percent year-over-year sales increase (revenue totaled $951.8 million). Growth in continence products and urological specialty devices also had a hand in the segment’s solid performance.
ANALYST INSIGHTS: Bard was acquired in May by BD for $24 billion. Known for being a medical technology leader in the fields of vascular, urology, oncology, and surgical specialty products, Bard has a healthy innovation pipeline that fits global markets and will provide strong international sales channels to BD. How the integration between these two companies is managed has the opportunity to either create a super mega healthcare company or to see divesting of some of the acquired assets to other companies around the world to focus on BD’s core strategy.
—Dave Sheppard, Co-Founder and Principal, MedWorld Advisors
Bard’s Vascular business performed near the top of its guidance range in 2016 (year ended Dec. 31) due to strong global demand for the Lutonix 035 DCB, a drug-coated balloon designed to elute an anti-stenosis drug during inflation inside narrowed arteries. The product received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pre-market approval in October 2014 for above-the-knee peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and expanded reimbursement a year later from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Last fall, the FDA granted the company a supplemental investigational device exemption to change the six-month endpoint in a clinical trial of the Lutonix 14 balloon treating below-the-knee PAD. About 340 patients are already enrolled in the trial.
Vascular revenue rose 5 percent to 1.01 billion, with 8 percent gains in endovascular sales offsetting a 2 percent decline in grafts proceeds.
“When we look at each of the businesses on a constant currency revenue growth basis,” Chairman and CEO Timothy M. Ring told investors earlier this year, “one business performed near the top of our guidance for the year and the other three all performed above the range we provided, with two of those well above the range.”
The other business performing well above the guidance range in 2016 was Surgical Specialties, which expanded net sales 11 percent to $637.3 million. Growth was driven mainly by the company’s self-absorbing hernia repair portfolio, with some assistance from new products like the CapSure Permanent Fixation System, a device designed for laparoscopic and open surgical procedures; and the Arista AH absorbable hemostat, a surgical hemostatic powder derived from purified plant starch that is used to help control capillary, venous, and arteriolar bleeding.
The Oncology segment exceeded its 2016 guidance as well but did not keep pace with its Urology and Surgical Specialties brethren. Net sales swelled 8 percent to $1.01 billion on strong demand (particularly outside the United States) for dialysis products, ports, peripherally-inserted central catheters, and midline catheters.
All segments’ guidance overruns set the stage for an overall memorable performance for Bard in 2016, its last year as an independent company (it was acquired in April this year by Becton, Dickinson and Company for $24 billion). Net sales grew 8.7 percent to $3.71 billion and net income nearly quadrupled, going from $135.4 million in 2015 to $531.4 million last year. Diluted earnings per share also skyrocketed, increasing nearly five-fold to $7.03.
“Net sales for the full-year 2016 was up 9 percent as reported, and up 10 percent on a constant currency basis compared to our original guidance of 6 percent to 8 percent constant currency growth for the full-year” Ring said on a conference call with analysts in January. “This strength across our portfolio contributed to 7 percent organic growth for the full-year compared to our original guidance of 5 percent to 6 percent. 2016 was an outstanding year of sales execution for us.”