Back in June of this year we published a short article on the problems caused by drug-coated cardiac stents. Our article directed readers to a study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It seemed there was a higher rate of blood clot formation with the use of drug-coated stents as compared to un-coated stents.
Now an editorial published on the Web site of the American College of Cardiology indicates that more than 2,000 patients are dying needlessly each year from the use of these tiny metal devices that prop open the arteries of the heart. The devices are sold by Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson.
Drs. Sanjay Kaul and George Diamond from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles wrote the editorial. These two doctors concluded that, with more than one million Americans annually receiving the stents and at least 80 percent of them getting the drug-coated versions, at least 2,160 people died each year from blood clots caused by the drug-coated stents. “It’s eerily reminiscent of Vioxx,” said Dr. Kaul, referring the popular painkiller that Merck withdrew from the market in 2004 after it was linked to heart attacks.