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March 22, 2006

Guidant Rebuked for Lax Safety Oversight

A sharply-worded report from a panel of outside experts faulted high-ranking Guidant Corporation executives for shortcomings in their oversight of the company's cardiac rhythm division.  That division was criticized last year for not telling doctors about defects in some of the heart devices that it makes.  Guidant now faces lawsuits from more than 2000 patients.  According to an article by Jeff Swiatek in the Indianapolis Star, the report - commissioned by Guidant - calls for a more hands-on role for the Indianapolis headquarters in running the St. Paul-based division that produces pacemakers and defibrillators.  The panel concluded that too much reliance on engineers and a lack of physician input in evaluating the importance of reports about safety defects reflected significant shortcomings in the company's oversight of product safety.  The report comes on the eve of Guidant's $27 billion takeover of Boston Scientific, set to be finalized in two weeks.


March 22, 2006 | Permalink


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