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Boston Scientific Seen Cutting Thousands of Jobs

Medical device maker Boston Scientific is preparing to slash thousands of jobs to counter slumping sales, according to a media report Tuesday.

Wall Street analysts who follow the company predict it will cut between 2,000 to 3,400 jobs, or about 7 to 12 percent of its work force of 28,000. The company has already cut 500 to 600 jobs this year.

"We will be reducing our expenses and head count to bring them in line with our revenue," Boston Scientific spokesman Paul Donovan told The Boston Globe. "These reductions will be part of our ongoing efforts to restore profitable growth, increase shareholder value, and strengthen Boston Scientific for the future."

The company has struggled with weak sales since early 2005 on its two key product lines: defibrillators and drug-coated stents. The implantable defibrillators, which help regulate the heart, have been hurt by a series of recalls. Sales of drug coated stents, metal tubes that are used to prop open arteries, have shriveled amid questions about their safety and benefits.

Boston Scientific is carrying $27 billion in debt from its acquisition of Guidant and some key products have been delayed by the Food and Drug Administration.

The company's stock has fallen 40 percent since the Guidant acquisition was announced in early 2006.

Jan David Wald, an analyst with Stanford Group in Houston, said he thought the cuts would affect about 7 percent of Boston Scientific's overall work force.