A Tale of Two Specialties

X-ray image of hip, with orthopedic implant
Image via Wikipedia

If you haven’t already heard the big news from last week, Johnson and Johnson’s Cordis subsidiary announced its withdrawal from the drug-eluting (DES) stent market, a momentous event for the firm that launched the first DES and created a new multi-billion-dollar medical device sector. Cordis is also shutting down its Conor MedSystems DES business, which it acquired for $1.4 billion in 2007. My reaction: Wow!

Meanwhile, the same week, the NY Times reported that metal-on-metal hip implants may become “the largest product liability cases of this decade.” ┬áThe FDA website states that “on May 6, 2011 the FDA issued orders for postmarket surveillance studies to manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip systems. The FDA sent 145 orders to 21 manufacturers.”

Two long-term implants. Two medical device sectors. One critical difference.

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