Medtronic's Omar Ishrak: 5 thoughts on COVID-19 and re-starting elective surgery

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |

Medtronic Executive Chairman Omar Ishrak recently appeared on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" to discuss COVID-19 and resuming medical procedures for non-urgent, non-COVID-19 patients.

On April 22, Medtronic reported U.S. sales dropped 60 percent during the pandemic as non-urgent cases have been canceled. However, many of the products Medtronic makes for heart disease are still in use, and the company has pivoted to developing ventilators as well.
https://www.beckersspine.com/orthopedic-a-spine-device-a-implant-news/item/48880-medtronic-s-weekly-us-sales-drop-60-7-covid-19-update.html

Here are five key quotes from Mr. Ishrak:

1. On the need for non-COVID-19 procedures. "We're actually seeing an increase in mortality rate [in cases] which are non-COVID related because of the lack of heart failure and stroke procedure, amongst other procedures."

2. On the timeline for returning elective procedures. While the exact timeline is "difficult to predict," Mr. Ishrak said, "We do think in healthcare, especially in urgent cases…the recovery will happen quickly. It will have to."

3. On the decline in non-coronavirus surgeries and procedures. "We've had a significant impact to our company based on hospital procedures going down. But what I wanted to mention was there are a number of these procedures that impact our business are urgent procedures for heart attacks and strokes, things that have to be done because there is a high mortality rate."

4. On Medtronic's financial situation during the pandemic. "Medtronic has a very strong balance sheet with ample cash on hand. We will see through this and we will emerge stronger and better, and we think the urgent procedures and ones that are highest priorities will return, and then we will work with physician and hospital partners to set up the right sites of care for elective procedures. They are elective, but they are necessary as well. Nobody is doing this for no reason, and over time that will become very important."

5. On the state of research and development during the pandemic. "To the degree that R&D can be done without going to work, we are doing that. There are engineers that want to get a project done and we are moving forward and that is holding quite well. In areas where they have to go into work because it's necessary to have the lab work, we are trying to prioritize that as people return to the workplace, we are prioritizing that."

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