News

Cardinal Health completed its acquisition of Johnson and Johnson’s Cordis business on Oct. 4 for $1.944 billion, seven months after Cardinal Health announced its offer.

Express Scripts announced it would include the two recently FDA-approved proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors on its national preferred formulary, which covers approximately 25 million people in the U.S.

The FDA sent a warning letter to St. Jude Medical regarding a facility in Atlanta where the company manufactures its CardioMEMS heart failure system. St. Jude Medical revealed the information in an 8-K filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Oct. 1.

On Oct. 29 in Oakland, members of the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) are expected to discuss and debate a report on the cost effectiveness of two recently FDA-approved heart failure treatments.

For the past few years, the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutic (TCT) conference has focused on structural heart disease as a major subspecialty in interventional cardiology. This year’s conference, which runs from Oct. 10 to 15 in San Francisco, will have more of an emphasis on coronary intervention, according to TCT co-director Gregg W. Stone, MD.

After receiving reports regarding reduced leaflet motion in some bioprosthetic aortic valves, the FDA announced on Oct. 5 that the agency is working with the American College of Cardiology, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and device manufacturers to design clinical studies to evaluate the situation.

The FDA approved the Synergy bioabsorbable polymer drug-eluting stent system on Oct. 5 to treat coronary artery disease. The Synergy stent is the first FDA-approved bioabsorbable polymer drug-eluting stent system, according to Boston Scientific, its manufacturer. The stent was approved in Europe in 2012.

Providing ambulatory heart failure patients with higher doses of beta-blockers significantly improved all-cause death or hospitalization, according to a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial. The researchers found increasing the dosage of beta-blockers was more effective than reducing heart rates in this patient population.

Patients with heart failure and major depression who underwent cognitive behavior therapy had improvements in mental health and overall quality of life after six months, according to a randomized trial. However, the intervention did not improve heart failure self-care or physical functioning.

During the first 60 days after heart attacks, women receive fewer aggressive treatments than men even though a higher percentage of women die or become disabled following heart attacks, according to a report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Blue Health Intelligence.

Members of the United Nations have vowed to reduce premature cardiovascular disease mortality by 25 percent by 2025. To achieve the goal, countries have targeted cardiovascular disease risk factors such as tobacco use, diabetes, obesity and blood pressure.

A jury in Ohio convicted cardiologist Harold Persaud of performing unnecessary tests and procedures and overbilling Medicare and private insurers by $7.2 million.