Sunday, September 3, 2006

Doubt Raised on Drug-Coated Heart Stents

Article in the Washington Post -- Doubt Raised on Drug-Coated Heart Stents, by Maria Cheng:

    Experts expressed concerns Sunday that drug-coated heart stents -- metal-mesh
    tubes used to prop open coronary arteries --may in rare instances lead to potentially
    fatal blood clots.

    Studies released Sunday at the World Cardiology Congress in Barcelona raised new
    concerns about the risks that may accompany the drug-coated stents, which were
    introduced in 2000 as an improvement on bare-metal stents.

    Nearly 6 million people worldwide now have the drug-lined versions. The devices
    are intended to keep arteries open after having been cleared of fatty deposits and are
    often credited with saving patients from future heart attacks or bypass surgery.

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Another excellent blog, Gooznews (, reports on the topic of drug-coated stents as follows:

“The Food and Drug Administration will hold hearings on Dec. 7-8 on drug-eluting stents, which recent studies show are harming more people than the regular stents they replaced. It's another example where the more expensive ($2,000) technology replaced a cheaper ($800) technology and wound up causing more harm than good.”

This reminds me of a wonderful quote by the late (and great) physician and self-proclaimed “medical heretic,” Robert Mendelsohn, MD, who once said: "Doctors don't let go of one medication until they find a more dangerous one to replace it."

Could it be that this statement is still true today? Please say it isn't so!

If you'd like to read an article by Dr. Mendelsohn, please check out the link to his 1984 article on vaccines, which appears on the left side of my site,, under "other important articles."

Thanks much.

Julia Schopick

Posted by: Julia Schopick | Nov 22, 2006 1:12:36 PM

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