Baxter International has suffered a 58% slide in its third quarter earnings to $116 million dollars caused by a hefty tax charge, costs associated with its withdrawal from the dialysis instruments business and the suspension of sales of its Colleague infusion pumps in July.

Revenues still managed a 3% gain to $2.4 billion in the third quarter, however, bolstered by a good performance at Baxter’s bioscience unit, which makes biologic drugs. Bioscience sales rose 12% to $950 million in the quarter, with $162 million of that total coming from its haemophilia treatment, Advate (octocog alfa; recombinant coagulation factor VIII).

Sales of the firm’s Colleague pump fell to zero from approximately $65 million in the third quarter of 2004, after sales were stopped. The pumps have been linked to a number of patient injuries and up to seven deaths.

For 2005, Baxter said it expects to achieve sales growth of 3%-4%, in line with earlier guidance [[05/05/05c]], while adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of $1.88 to $1.90.