Report: FDA Advisory Committee Meeting On Drug-Coated Stents Safety

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. On the first day of the two-day meeting there was an overflow crowd of reporters, company reps, analysts and doctors with about two dozen people in the hallway--yes, in the hallway--watching the proceeding on closed-circuit TV. Why the FDA doesn't hold a meeting like this one at one of the many Washington-area hotels with huge ballrooms is beyond me.

While big news is breaking here with significant impact for Boston Scientific, Johnson and Johnson, Medtronic, Abbott and Conor Medsystems most of the meeting is full of dense, mind-numbing data.

Yesterday my producer, Ruth, spotted a cameraman for an unnamed competing business network asleep. This morning among the hallway overflow crowd an unidentified woman was curled up in a chair in front of the TV sound asleep. One Wall Street analyst found the data presentations so tedious it was too much for them to spend another day in the meeting room and they're monitoring it today on the webcast instead.

Me? No such luck. We'll be here through the day waiting for the panel to perhaps come out with more potentially stock-moving info.

Until then, Ruth and I may need a second trip to Starbucks.

Questions? Comments?