Devices vs. drugs: New research puts pressure on stent makers, may hinder Medicare coverage
New research sheds doubt on the benefits of stent-based stroke prevention, putting pressure on carotid device makers such as Boston Scientific, Abbott, and Johnson & Johnson.
Proponents of drug-based stroke therapy have launched a campaign against expanded Medicare coverage for preventative carotid stenting, arguing that the devices are no better than drug therapy alone.
The movement may put pressure on medical device makers who were hoping to win Medicare reimbursement for stenting in patients with arterial blockage but no stroke symptoms.
Industry titans Boston Scientific  (NYSE:BSX ), Johnson & Johnson  (NYSE:JNJ ) and Abbott  (NYSE:ABT ) all market stents designed to prevent strokes in patients with narrowed carotid arteries.