I’ve noted the incredible new success of Boston Scientific’s Taxus stent several times in THCB. Taxus is moving from factory to artery as fast as it can be pushed off the production line. However, the New York Times reports that the FDA is looking into some stories of problems with the stent in its first month. The lead quote criticizing Taxus is from Dr William Campbell at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. While I’m sure the problems they have seen with Taxus are real, it’s worth noting that Campbell’s colleague Dr. Tim Fischell basically invented the rival Cypher stent (see the last line of this press release)and their program is funded by its manufacturer, J&J’s Cordis unit.
The number of problems with Taxus quoted thus far are very small and probably not indicative of anything, as the NY Times quoted one cardiologist:
- “I would not be alarmed by a few reports,” Dr. Hodgson said. “Those same things have happened with previous generations of stents and balloons.”
But do not doubt that there is a huge battle for supremacy here in a very large and growing market , and the impact of these reports will be felt as the marketing machines pushing these rivals go to work.