Medical device maker Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) touted a new study proclaiming the reliability of the batteries in its implanted defibrillators, which bested devices by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) in a clinical study.
Researchers examined nearly 650 "current models" of implantable cardioverter defibrillators, all implanted between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2010. At about 2.5 years 25% of Medtronic’s devices had already depleted their batteries, compared with 7% of St. Jude’s and 4% of Boston Scientific’s.
At 4 years 33% of Medtronic’s devices needed replacement, compared with 8% of St. Jude’s and 6% of Boston Scientific’s, independent of pacing therapy parameters.
Boston Scientific was quick to tout the news, issuing a press release highlighting the findings and emphasizing the importance of battery life to patient outcomes.
"With improved therapies, the majority of today’s heart failure patients will outlive their implantable device," chief medical officer Dr. Kenneth Stein said in prepared remarks. "As patients live longer, the benefit from longer-lasting devices and fewer replacement surgeries becomes increasingly significant."
The Massachusetts medtech giant has flaunted its ICD batteries in the past, even publicly flogging its rivals over device longevity.
Medtronic in won FDA clearance for its Viva portfolio of cardiac resynchronization defibrillators, touting the devices’ 11-year battery life. Boston Scientific responded with an attack ad proclaiming that the Viva line only lasted 4.6 years in clinical tests, stating "Medtronic just launched their new high-voltage platform. We just have one question… Why another sub 5-year CRT-D?"
Medtronic called the ad "frankly misleading," countering with a "Reality Check" that claimed Medtronic’s ICDs lasted longer in "7 independent studies, including over 10,600 patients at 15 centers."
Boston Scientific has something of a reputation for its CRM battery life, having won European Union and FDA approval to market several of its implants as featuring longevity of up to 10 years. Last year group purchasing organization Novation highlighted the company’s efforts to boost battery life as a must for all implantable device makers.
Earlier this year Boston Scientific released new data showing 9-to-13-year battery life for its ICDs, arising from an analysis of more than 100,000 patients. The data showed that batteries of Boston Scientific single-chamber ICDs, dual-chamber ICDs and CRT-Ds lasted an average of 13.2, 11.5 and 9.2 years, the company said.
The new study, conducted by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, included 173 Boston Scientific devices, 416 Medtronic devices and 57 St. Jude devices, all implanted at the UPMC facility. The results were published this week in the journal EP EuroPace.