Stents safer than we thought

After sifting the deluge of stent news from Europe over the past few days, experts say that, on balance, drug-coated stents have been avenged. Though the new stents aren't suited to everyone--one study, for instance, showed that drug-eluting stents are more problematic in small blood vessels than in large ones--general benefits outweighed the general risks.

It was just a year ago, you'll recall, that two major studies first raised questions about the safety of drug-coated stents. The follow-up studies won't quash debate completely, especially since the drug-coated versions are more than twice as costly as the bare sort. But they may plug enough holes in the dike to slow the sales decline.

- here's a Johnson & Johnson press release about the follow-up trials
- read here's more from the New York Times

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