In yet another sign of the times, medical device specialist Becton, Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) is experiencing a sharp increase in demand for two of its signature products. The company said that its "additional pandemic orders" for needles and syringes from the U.S. and Canadian governments had more than tripled, presumably from initial ones at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
All told, the current order tally is 265 million such devices, with 177 million coming from the latest purchasing by the two governments. That 265 million breaks down to 190 million for the U.S. and the remaining 75 million for Canada. Another 40 million of the healthcare company's needles and syringes are to be shipped to the U.K.
Becton, Dickinson said that the bulk of these orders is to be delivered by the end of this year. It is hoped that at least one of the numerous COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently in development will be approved by healthcare regulators soon after that.
"Proactive actions taken by the U.S., Canada and the U.K. to order injection devices now will help these countries be ready to administer a vaccine when one is approved and ready," the company quoted its president of medication delivery solutions Rick Byrd as saying.
Becton, Dickinson stressed that it does not believe these sizable new orders will affect its ability to deliver the injection products to other clients, such as those preparing for flu vaccination season. Still, it will expand production of needles and syringes with a $70 million investment sourced from a private-public partnership with several government agencies. Forty-two million of that funding will come from those public entities.