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Tiffany Farr
Tiffany Farr
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Benefits of Drug-Coated Stents Outweigh Risks

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A study released has shown that drug-eluting stents carry a greater risk for blood clots and heart attacks than older metal versions. Though the risk is quite small, drug-coated stents produce a higher risk of blood clots and heartattacks between 12 and 15 months after the stents are implanted.

Stents, used to expand arteries cleared of plaque- a process also known as angioplasty, have become a $6 billion industry for Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific. Drug-eluting stents now only account for 70% of the devices implanted each year due to the concern over blood clotting. More than 60 percent of the drug-coated devices are implanted in higher-risk and other patients not covered under the FDA-approved label usage. Dr. Donald Baim of Boston Scientific, one of the two manufacturers with U.S. approval to sell these stents, asks that one pose the question, “At the end of the day, the things patients care about- ‘Am I more likely to be dead or have a major heart attack?’- the answer is ‘no.'”

Of course, drug companies will continue to voice support for their products until proven drastically differently. Those patients needing the stents obviously fall into a category for higher risks for heart attacks and strokes (thus the need for the stents) so more research needs to be done as to whether these devices used to prolong and better one’s life can, in actuality, be detrimental in the end.