Boston Scientific shares off on UK warning
Boston Scientific Corp. shares slipped to a five-month low today after a UK regulatory agency issued a safety alert on some implantable heart devices made by Guidant, which the Natick medical-device maker acquired last year.
The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency on Thursday issued a safety alert regarding certain implantable cardioverter defibrillators. The alert is an update to a March 2004 to January 2007 advisory in the United States on several products used to manage abnormal heart rhythms.
The issue relates to extended charge times that can potentially delay necessary shocks.
"The device is still capable of providing the pacing and defibrillator therapy they are designed to provide," said Boston Scientific spokesman Paul Donovan. "It's like when your 'check engine' light goes on, but there's nothing wrong with the car. While some devices have been replaced, no patients have been injured."
The alert comes at a time when the market for such devices is struggling to recover from a series of high-profile recalls in 2005 of thousands of ICDs and pacemakers made by Guidant and other manufacturers.
Boston Scientific shares were down 15 cents to $14.83 in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange after dipping as low as $14.75.