What is BD in medical line?

BD, which stands for Becton, Dickinson and Company, is a leading global medical technology company that manufactures and sells a wide range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment and diagnostic products. BD has a significant presence in the healthcare industry and its products are used in hospitals, clinical laboratories, research facilities, and consumer homes worldwide.

BD’s Main Business Segments

BD operates through three business segments: BD Medical, BD Life Sciences, and BD Interventional. Each segment produces products and services for the medical and life sciences industries.

BD Medical

The BD Medical segment produces clinical and surgical medical devices and supplies. Some of the key product categories include:

  • Syringes and hypodermic needles
  • Intravenous (IV) catheters
  • Safety-engineered devices
  • Prefillable drug delivery systems
  • Regional anesthesia needles and trays
  • Sharps disposal containers
  • Closed-system transfer devices
  • Surgical and laparoscopic instrumentation
  • Wound care products

BD Medical products are used to help deliver medications and other fluids to patients, protect healthcare workers and patients from needlestick injuries, collect blood samples for testing, dispose of sharps, and assist with surgical procedures.

BD Life Sciences

The BD Life Sciences segment provides tools and reagents for biomedical research and clinical diagnostic testing. Key product lines include:

  • Specimen management products for laboratories
  • Flow cytometry reagents and instruments
  • Cell imaging systems
  • Molecular testing assays
  • Genomic sequencing platforms
  • Diagnostic systems for infectious diseases, cancers, and other conditions
  • Preanalytical systems for laboratories
  • Cell culture media and lab plastics

These products are used by researchers, clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, and academics to understand human health and disease, improve drug discovery, and support advanced diagnostic testing.

BD Interventional

The BD Interventional segment produces catheter and stent products used in minimally invasive medical procedures. Key products include:

  • Peripheral vascular catheters and stents
  • Central venous access devices
  • Urological catheters
  • Targeted temperature management systems
  • Critical care monitoring devices
  • Antimicrobial surgical sutures

These devices are used to deliver lifesaving treatments by allowing access to blood vessels and organs through small incisions rather than open surgery.

History of BD

BD was founded in 1897 initially as a manufacturer of glass syringes and thermometers. The company was created by Maxwell W. Becton and Fairleigh S. Dickinson. Here are some key milestones in BD’s history:

  • 1897 – BD founded as a partnership between Maxwell Becton and Fairleigh Dickinson
  • 1906 – BD incorporates as a company
  • 1924 – BD initiates international expansion, starting in Canada, the UK, and France
  • 1949 – BD begins manufacturing products made from plastics
  • 1954 – BD debuts the first disposable plastic syringe
  • 1971 – BD enters the diagnostic products market with acquisition of Baltimore Biological Laboratory
  • 1976 – BD introduces the first safety-engineered needles and syringes
  • 1999 – BD acquires medical technology firm Bard for $3.2 billion
  • 2012 – BD acquires medical technology firm C.R. Bard for $24 billion

BD’s long history of innovations has enabled the company to grow into a leading medical technology organization today. Key milestones included the development of disposable syringes and needles, expansion into diagnostics through acquisitions, and pioneering safety-engineered devices.

BD’s Products and Technologies

Here is an overview of some of BD’s major products and technologies across its business segments:

Medical Supplies

  • Hypodermic needles and syringes – BD offers a wide range of sizes, capacities, and needle gauges for injections and drawing blood samples.
  • IV catheters – Used to access a patient’s vascular system to deliver medications, fluids, or blood products.
  • Safety syringes – Designed with safety features to prevent needlestick injuries. This includes retractable, sliding sleeve, and hinged cap designs.
  • Prefillable syringes – Used for injectable biologic drugs or vaccines. They are prefilled by the pharmaceutical company and shipped to healthcare providers.
  • Regional anesthesia needles – Help anesthetize a specific region of the body during surgery without making the patient unconscious.
  • Surgical scalpels and instruments – Scalpels, forceps, scissors, clamps, and other instruments for surgical procedures.

Specimen Management

  • Blood collection tubes – Plastic vacuum tubes coated with additives to preserve blood samples for testing.
  • Microtainer tubes – Smaller tubes for collecting samples from children or infants.
  • Blood culture bottles – Used to detect pathogens in the blood that can cause sepsis.
  • Swab collection kits – Sterile swabs and transport systems for collecting microbiological specimens.

Diagnostic Systems

  • Molecular testing platforms – Automated systems that can perform diagnostic tests on genetic material to detect infections, cancers, and other conditions.
  • Microbiology culture media – Substances designed to grow and detect microorganisms from specimens.
  • Rapid diagnostic tests – Quick tests that can detect antigens or antibodies associated with a range of infectious diseases.
  • Histology instruments – Used to prepare tissue samples for examination under a microscope.

Drug Delivery Systems

  • Prefillable syringes and safety devices – Designed for biologics and injectable drugs. Can be prefilled and packaged by pharmaceutical firms.
  • Pen needles – Fine gauge needles for injecting drugs via pen injectors, often used by diabetes patients.
  • Auto injectors – Automatic injection systems designed for self-administration of drugs like epinephrine.
  • Wearable injectors – Adheres to the body and provides scheduled medication injections, like insulin.

Disease and Therapy Management

  • Infusion pumps – Deliver fluids, nutrients or medications into the circulatory system in controlled amounts.
  • Vascular access catheters – Provide access to veins and arteries for therapies, monitoring, or blood draws.
  • Hemodialysis products – Filters, tubing kits, disinfectants for renal dialysis treatments.
  • Surgical fluid warming systems – Help maintain normal body temperature and prevent hypothermia during surgery.

BD’s Impact on Medical Care

For over a century, BD has impacted medical practices by:

  • Enabling home and self-care – Products like insulin syringes, pen needles, and auto injectors allow patients to self-administer treatments at home.
  • Improving safety – Inventions like retractable syringes, safety IV catheters, and sharps containers help protect medical staff from needlestick injuries and contamination.
  • Supporting research – BD provides tools and technologies that power life sciences research and biomedical discovery.
  • Advancing diagnostics – From microscopy to molecular testing, BD offers a wide range of solutions for definitive diagnostics.
  • Informing treatment decisions – Precise diagnostic tests enable healthcare teams to make data-driven therapy choices tailored to the patient.
  • Enabling minimally invasive procedures – Catheters and specialty devices allow access to the body through small openings rather than open surgery.

By bringing reliable, safe, and innovative technologies to the healthcare space, BD has helped advance patient care and outcomes while protecting medical staff. The company has touched virtually every aspect of medical care over its long history.

BD’s Manufacturing and Supply Chain

BD operates over 50 manufacturing facilities around the world to produce its wide range of medical products and technologies. The company leverages global sourcing and distribution to serve customers in over 190 countries.

Some key facts about BD’s manufacturing and supply chain operations include:

  • Over 50 manufacturing sites globally, including major facilities in the U.S., Mexico, China, Hungary, Ireland, Singapore, and Germany.
  • Employs approximately ~44,500 people in manufacturing operations worldwide as of 2020.
  • Manufacturing network includes fully-integrated plants, plants with targeted capabilities, and joint venture operations.
  • Wide range of capabilities including injection molding, extrusion, assembly, packaging, laser processing, surface coating, and more.
  • BD manages a complex global supply chain spanning thousands of suppliers providing raw materials, components, and services.
  • Stringent quality systems at every BD facility to meet regulatory requirements in the healthcare industry.
  • Focus on operational excellence, lean manufacturing, and automation to drive efficiency.

BD’s substantial manufacturing infrastructure allows the company to produce tens of billions of medical supplies and devices annually for the global healthcare sector. The company invests heavily to continuously upgrade capabilities and optimize the supply chain.

International Presence

While BD was founded and is headquartered in the United States, today it operates as a multinational corporation with a strong international presence. Key facts about BD’s global business include:

  • BD products are sold in over 190 countries worldwide.
  • Operates manufacturing, distribution, R&D, and administrative facilities globally.
  • Generates approximately one-third of its revenues from international sales.
  • Employs around ~71,000 people worldwide, with significant employee bases in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Canada.
  • International regions are managed through three major geographic segments – Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.
  • Emerging markets like China, India, Brazil are strategic priorities for growth.

BD continues to expand globally to serve healthcare systems worldwide with essential medical technology. The company tailors products and solutions to meet local market needs in different regions.

Financial Performance

BD has consistently delivered solid financial results as a leader in the medical technology space. Some key financial metrics and growth drivers include:

  • Generated revenues of $20.25 billion in fiscal year 2020.
  • Revenue growth projected to be 5-6% for 2021-2024 period.
  • Gross profit margins typically around 50% of revenues annually.
  • Invests approximately 6% of revenues into R&D each year to drive innovation.
  • Key growth drivers are new product development, geographic expansion, and acquisitions.
  • Profitable business segments with Medical delivering the majority of earnings.

BD aims to drive steady top and bottom line growth through market penetration, international expansion, margin improvement, and targeted M&A activity. The company has delivered consistent profitability while making significant investments in R&D and manufacturing capabilities.

Recent Acquisitions

BD has grown into an industry giant in part through major acquisitions designed to expand product portfolios and enter new markets. Here are some significant acquisitions from the past decade:

Company Acquired Year Purchase Price Significance
C.R. Bard 2017 $24 billion Major player in vascular, urology, and surgical specialties products.
Bard Biopsy Systems 2017 $1 billion Enhanced BD’s biopsy offerings for cancer diagnostics.
Prepared Media Laboratories 2016 $30 million Provided prepared microbiological culture media.
CareFusion 2015 $12.2 billion Added drug delivery, patient monitoring and surgical products.

These major deals have allowed BD to expand into higher growth clinical areas, gain new capabilities and strengthen competitive advantages.

Main Competitors

BD operates in competitive markets across its product categories. The main competitors include:

  • Medical/Life Science Supplies – Thermo Fisher, Danaher, Cardinal Health, Owens & Minor, Medline.
  • Needles/Syringes – Terumo, Nipro, Gerresheimer, Smiths Medical.
  • IV Catheters – Teleflex, Medtronic, B. Braun.
  • Diagnostics – Abbott, Roche, Danaher, Thermo Fisher, Sysmex, bioMérieux.
  • Drug Delivery – Gerresheimer, Ypsomed, Baxter, Medtronic, West Pharma.
  • Diabetes Care – Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Eli Lilly, Roche, Terumo.

However, BD is unique in offering a “one-stop shop” with broad capabilities spanning devices, diagnostic systems, and medical supplies.

Outlook and Trends

BD is well-positioned to benefit from major trends shaping the healthcare landscape such as:

  • Growth of biologics and injectable drugs expanding the need for prefillable delivery devices.
  • Diagnostic testing moving closer to the point-of-care, enabled by rapid tests and miniaturization.
  • Demand for greater efficiency and medication adherence driving connected and smart devices.
  • Healthcare worker safety receiving more emphasis with rise of infectious diseases.
  • Data-driven, personalized therapies requiring molecular testing and precision diagnostics.
  • Aging global population driving up chronic disease incidence and healthcare utilization.

BD aims to leverage its deep clinical expertise and technology strengths to address emerging healthcare needs worldwide.


For over 120 years, BD has established itself as a vital supplier of medical products and technologies used in virtually every healthcare setting. The company’s expansive portfolio spans from basic supplies like syringes and needles to advanced diagnostic systems and drug delivery solutions. By enabling safer, more informed, and smarter care, BD has made a meaningful impact on clinical practices and patient outcomes worldwide. The company is strongly positioned to continue growing as a leader in the medical technology field.

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