While we all enjoyed the November month by taking in the beautiful Fall colors and ultimately stuffing our faces with turkey and mashed potatoes, the medical device world was having a less than merry time. Recalls and scandals commanded the headlines keeping us folks wide-eyed with interest.
Some of the biggest news related to recalls came from Hospira and Stryker. Hospira was struck with its fifth GemStar Infusion System related recall in 3 years. The FDA recalled Hospira’s GemStar device for potentially failing to deliver electric power to the pump. As for Stryker, in dealing with their 2012 recall of their metal hip implants, the company agreed to pay $4.38 billion, with each patient who had the device removed receiving a base amount of $300,000. Stryker received more than 4,000 lawsuits alleging that patients were hurt by the implant.
While Stryker was paying for faulty devices, Boston Scientific, who is in the middle of a courtroom battle with J&J over the 2006 Guidant deal, had some continued back luck with a former employee. It was revealed that Aaron Khieu, a former Boston Scientific engineer, was indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing documents from Boston Scientific to allegedly set up a manufacturing business in Vietnam to market the products in the U.S. The scandals only continued when a federal grand jury in Texas indicted Vascular Solutions’ CEO Howard Root on charges of conspiring to sell a varicose-vein treatment for unapproved uses.
November proved to be a scandalous month for the medical device arena, but with holiday cheer filling up the month of December, we are all hoping that more positive headlines will emerge.
Aneel Dhaliwal, Consultant at Neozene
Aneel is one of Neozene’s many recruiting consultants working with candidates and clients alike within the medical device and biotech space in the Bay Area. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Media Studies from University of California, Berkeley.
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