Breaking news from the American College of Cardiology meetings

The American Heart Association (AHA) was kind enough to send me an e-mail headlining the breaking news from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) meetings underway in Chicago:

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Active-Controlled, Multi-Center Trial (ISAR-REACT 3) of Bivalirudin Versus Unfractionated Heparin in Troponin-Negative Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Coronary Interventions After Pre-Treatment With 600 mg of Clopidogrel

TRITON - TIMI 38 Stent Analysis
Prasugrel Compared to Clopidogrel in Patients With Acute Coronary Syndromes Undergoing PCI With Stenting: The TRITON - TIMI 38 Stent Analysis

Percutaneous Coronary Interventions in Facilities without On-Site Cardiac Surgery (NCDR)

(And four other similar reports)

Let's meld the ACC headlines with the financial headlines:

July 2, 2007
The Medicines Company announces reacquisition of all marketing rights to bivalirudin, anticoagulant growing in use for coronary angioplasty and related procedures. 2008 sales anticipated to be in the $15-20 million range, to grow to $90-110 million, a growth rate of 50% per year.

November 20, 2007
Drug manufacturing giant, Eli Lilly, vies for a portion of the $5 billion (annual revenues) oral anti-platelet market, now occupied by Plavix, with its newer, but questionably better, agent, prasugrel.

Growth of the coronary angioplasty (percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI) doesn't ordinarily make headlines, but the performance of specific companies within the industry does. Angioplasty and cardiac device maker (inc. the drug-coated stent, Taxus), Boston Scientific, for instance, announced record sales of $8.537 billion for 2007, an increase of $536 million. How to grow this market? We could always hope for more people with heart attacks or other unstable symptoms. Or, we could . . . increase the number of hospitals capable of PCI! Brilliant.

The money behind this push for procedures is staggering. It drives enormous marketing efforts, pays Washington lobbyists, pays for many nice dinners and trips for doctors who engage in the system, and pays for very costly research.

And the AHA and ACC are kind enough to let us know about these great pieces of news.

Comments (1) -

  • Anonymous

    4/2/2008 12:28:00 PM |

    The Isar-React3 study supposedly was done by non-biased researchers in Germany.  Other articles have raised criticism of the findings.  Do not know the outcome of the meeting.

    Other drug research was also presented related to high blood pressure medicines.  Combination drugs with supposed less side effects were in the news.  All it takes is a study being presented at a prestigious group meeting to hit the news, and voila--consumers run to their doctors asking for it.  The articles don't say who is sponsoring the research and other ties....and side effects of some drugs aren't known until they've been on the market for a while.