DME sales trending up

With the oldest of the baby boomers celebrating birthday No. 71 in 2017, sales of durable medical equipment and the kind of home health products that help transition patient care from hospital settings to the home in the retail setting have only one direction to go. And that’s up.

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The overall expenditure on durable medical equipment, or DME, including items not available through retail like bed accessories, in 2017 is projected to reach $50.6 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 4.7% through 2020, according to Harris Williams & Co.

That kind of positive momentum already is being realized at retail, noted Steve Light, VP consumer health at Cardinal Health. “Since the launch of Hospital Quality at Home [in 2015], we’ve seen a positive trend in consumption,” he told Drug Store News, regarding home health product selection for the 46% of family caregivers who provide complex chronic care following a hospitalization.

Two of the major retail players in home health products have made significant acquisitions in the past year to round out their overall product portfolios. Drive DeVilbiss in October acquired the durable medical equipment brands in Canada from AMG Medical that includes AquaSense, Airgo, Hugo and Profilio. The company also launched its Inspired by Drive product portfolio.

Similarly, Compass Health, which supplies such brands as Carex, AccuRelief, Apex, Bed Buddy and TheraMed, last year acquired the kinesiology tape StrengthTape from Endevr and the value-oriented ProBasics brand from Invacare.
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