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Safety of Drug Coated Heart Stents Still Up in the Air

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After the third day of Transcather Cardiovascular Therapeutics show, the results are still mixed regarding the safety of drug coated heart stents. The stents, manufactured by Boston Scientific’s Taxus and Johnson & Johnson’s Cypher, many experts agreed, there appears to be a long-term clotting risk compared with the use of older bare metal stents. Even some physicians have been reluctant in employing the medical devices out of fear of clotting complications. According to the NY Times article, “Reporting surprising findings from one of those studies, Dr. Alaide Chieffo, a researcher from Milan, said that Italian and German doctors who tracked more than 3,000 patients with drug-coated stents from 2002 through the end of 2004 found that the drug therapy widely thought to protect such patients from clotting had no beneficial effect after the first six months.”