Stent-makers get more bad news

Go ahead, kick them while they're down. Britain's National Health Service may stop paying for drug-coated stents, products that already are suffering from safety-related fears. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will meet next week to review the proposal, which cites the huge difference in price between drug-coated stents ($2,300) and the uncoated versions ($700). British cardiologists are fighting the measure, saying that drug-coated stents are still the best option for some patients.

Facing a market that's expected to shrink by $1 billion this year, leading makers of the drug-coated devices--Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific--have been retrenching by cutting costs and jobs. A NICE rejection? Insult to injury, especially for the thousands more who might get pink slips. 

- read the report from the Boston Herald