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Articles from 2006 In September

FDA Responds Positively to HRS Recommendations

Yesterday FDA issued a statement supporting much of what the society said, including the expansion of its cardiac advisory panel's duties into evaluating postmarket safety and effectiveness issues. But it did not say whether it would drop the "recall" lingo. It should, but only if terminology that appropriately identifies the gravity of the situation can be agreed upon.

Surgery without the Weight of the World

While the concept of space surgery might be exciting to some people, it's way too expensive to justify its use in the future. Aside from the costs to develop the technology, chartering such a flight to perform the procedure would cost the equivalent of nearly $38,000 U.S. dollars, reports the U.K. Times Online.

Healthcare Costs vs. Longevity

Yes, healthcare costs used to be cheap half a century ago, but back then no one expected much from healthcare, nor for it to make much of an impact on longevity. But today's expensive healthcare, including new medical devices, does have a significant impact on longevity. Of course waste does exist in the system, and we should do our best to eliminate it. But innovation costs money. Would we trade those costs for a shorter lifespan?

J&J Sues Abbott, Boston Scientific for $5.5 Billion

The suit, filed in federal court in New York City, alleges that Guidant leaked confidential information about its deal to Abbott, which passed it on to Boston Scientific, who used the knowledge to win the battle for Guidant. Boston Scientific ended up spinning off Guidant's stent business to Abbott.

Norwalk to Take CMS Helm on Acting Basis

Either would be a fine choice, as the agency needs continuity as it works to implement sweeping changes introduced under McClellan's watch.

VeinViewer Earns Raves for Improved Patient Comfort

(Memphis) and marketed by Diomed (Andover, MA), uses near-infrared light to produce a "vein map" on the skin. About 30 vein care centers so far are using the device, which went on the market in May. Expect patient demand to cause that number to climb.

Unique Device Identification Meeting Set

It's unlikely that FDA will pass on the idea entirely, given recent safety issues.

Boston Scientific to Miss Earnings Estimates

Financial Interests vs. Patient Care

The Associated Press also reports that as of October 1, Stanford University is prohibiting doctors that work at its hospitals from accepting any gifts in efforts to "eliminate corporate influence from medical decisions." It's not likely that this debate will end anytime soon, considering many doctors need to work with companies, from serving as consultants to being trained on a device's use.

FDA Nomination Moves to Full Senate