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Are Drug-Eluting Stents More Dangerous than Previously Thought?

News that its drug-eluting stents could have a higher risk of causing deadly blood clots triggered Boston Scientific's stock to drop more than 3 percent yesterday. The findings of recent stent studies were revealed Sunday at the World Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain. According to the Associated Press, Boston Scientific compared the clotting rates of patients who had the Taxus stent with those who had bare metal stents.

The results showed that the Taxus stent carried a higher rate of clotting starting six months after surgery. Boston Scientific reported the findings to FDA at the beginning of August. Despite the statistics, the company's spokesperson, Paul Donovan, stated that an increase in heart attacks or deaths hasn't been seen. Boston Scientific's main competitor in the stent market, Johnson & Johnson, hasn't observed a significant clotting risk in its product, Cypher. However, the overall risk of blood clots is low, and more studies probably should be conducted.

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