This week in med-tech history: Nine years ago this week the biggest news in Medical Device Daily was Guidant’s recall of nearly 50,000 implantable defibrillators, coupled with the company’s failure to alert customers of the danger of one of the devices for nearly three years after it was aware of a problem.
On June 21, 2005 MDD reported that the Guidant recall created a serious issue for Johnson & Johnson, which at that time was planning to buy Guidant for $25.4 billion.
But of course when we fast forward a bit to January 2006, we know that deal never went through anyway, as J&J lost a two-month-long bidding war for Guidant to Boston Scientific. Boston Scientific shelled out $27.2 million for the troubled cardiac rhythm management firm, finalizing the deal in April 2006.
In the long run, J&J was surely relieved to have dodged the Guidant bullet. Boston Scientific ended up facing thousands of lawsuits related to Guidant’s problems and paying millions to settle those claims, plus an investigation with the Department of Justice that was settled in 2009 for $296 million.