Intuitive Surgical’s third-quarter numbers are in, and they are likely cause for manufacturer concern.  According to a Bloomberg report from October 18th, the makers of a surgical technology now involved in numerous da Vinci robot lawsuit claims saw a 7.2 percent drop in revenue, and fell short of industry estimates in its third financial quarter of 2013.

These shortcomings are owed to lower sales of the da Vinci Surgical System, a remote-controlled device now facing rising scrutiny from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the article states. As a result, the company only realized $499 million in revenue, and failed to reach the average estimate of $525.9 million in profits, compiled by 18 analysts from Bloomberg. Only 101 da Vinci robots were sold compared to 155 last year at this time. Income also decreased to $3.99 a share, or $156.8 million, from $183.3 million.

News of Intuitive’s third-quarter earnings comes just three months after Intuitive received a letter in July from the FDA that cited the company for its failure to alert federal regulators of adverse event reports associated with the da Vinci, as well as information about corrections made to the device.

Some members of the business community predict Intuitive’s financial losses to trend downward as long as patients continue to file complaints of robotic surgery complications. Included in da Vinci-related reports are allegations of cut ureters, burns and tears to arteries, bowel injuries, and even death.

Industry Leaders Predict Downward Profit Trend as Long as Robotic Surgery Complications are Filed

“Da Vinci sales are unlikely to turn around unless Intuitive conjures up data showing that the system actually improves patient outcomes,” said a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor.

Upon releasing its most recent earnings report, Intuitive acknowledged its involvement in 50 da Vinci robot lawsuits. According to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said, “Claims brought to our attention by plaintiffs’ attorneys, which contain allegations of patient injury, are required to be investigated and in most cases are reported to the FDA.”

Intuitive further added, “This has led to increases” in adverse event reports to federal regulators.

An earlier Bloomberg report indicates that 350,000 procedures in 2012 were performed using the da Vinci Surgical System, a number that included hysterectomies, prostatectomies, and thyroid surgeries.  The remote-controlled device was approved in 2000 to aid surgeons in minimally-invasive urologic, gynecologic and laparoscopic procedure.

Filing a da Vinci Robot Lawsuit

File a da Vinci robot lawsuit today with an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The Firm can be reached at (877) 779-1414 for a free and confidential case review.

Published October 21, 2013 by