The trial pitted traditional implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) -- devices that treat abnormal heart rhythms -- with newer, more expensive ones that include a cardiac resynchronization therapy function (CRT-Ds). That function makes sure the heart's ventricles are in synch and is usually reserved for patients with more advanced heart problems. In the study, patients treated with the CRT-Ds had a 29% reduction in death compared to those treated with just ICDs. More importantly, the trial was done with patients suffering from earlier stages of heart failure, patients where the more expensive CRT-D devices aren't routinely used.
Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends.
Unlike Intuitive Surgical
The reason for the study is obvious: According to Boston Scientific, 70% of the about 5.5 million Americans suffering from some form of heart failure are in the earlier stages, those stages tested in the clinical trial. Thus there are plenty of patients to go around.
It's just unfortunate that the trial results will also likely help its competitors, but Boston Scientific should be able to make up the cost of the trial and then some if it can expand the patient base for CRT-Ds.
I heart this Foolishness:
Intuitive Surgical is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. The newsletter is always on the hunt for hot drug stocks and other cutting-edge picks. Click here to see all of our latest discoveries with a free 30-day trial subscription.