Markets are getting a little choppy. Good thing Jim Cramer knows how to navigate these waters.» Read More
Stocks posted modest gains across the board--with financial, technology and energy stocks showing strength.
As we've been writing--CNBC pharmaceuticals reporter Mike Huckman has been reporting from Gaithersburg, Md--where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has convened a panel to decide the fate of drug-coated stents. Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific – the two major producers of stents – have been eagerly awaiting a decision.
Greetings from the Gaithersburg, Maryland Hilton! That's where the FDA is holding the advisory committee meeting on the safety of drug-coated stents. For less high-profile FDA meetings this hotel and the Holiday Inn across the street (the FDA alternates between them) are just fine. But for a big meeting like this one the venue is way too small.
Drug-coated stents that buttress the arteries are safe when used as directed, health advisers say, even though the risks they may pose to the majority of patients with the devices remains an open question
There's late word from CNBC's Mike Huckman. He reported in "Closing Bell' that the FDA stent conference came out in support of drug-coated stents. There had been concerns the drug-coated stents caused blood clots--and the metal stents did not. But the FDA says the proof is inconclusive.
Drug-coated stents that prop open the arteries of about 3 million people in the U.S. don't increase the risk of heart attack or death when used as labeled but may put patients at risk for blood clots, health advisers said Thursday.
The U.S. Federal Drug Administration is right now weighing in on the heated debate over drug coated stents versus metal ones. Stents are implanted in patients to stop heart attacks. They're looking into evidence that drug-coated stents-- may lead to dangerous blood clots. It's a huge concern that's effecting millions of heart patients. It's also effecting the $5 billion dollar drug-coated stent industry.
Johnson & Johnson has suspended enrollment in a late-stage trial of an experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug it is co-developing with Schering-Plough because of short-term logistics problems.