Jun 3, 2021 - Health

Medtronic pulls heart pump following several recalls

The Medtronic logo sits above a display of its medical devices and products at a trade show.
Medtronic's revenue from its ventricular assist devices totaled $141 million last year. Photo: Liu Ying/Xinhua via Getty

Medtronic has stopped selling one of its heart pumps due to "higher frequency of neurological adverse events" and death, the medical device maker and the FDA wrote to doctors and hospitals today.

Why it matters: The product, called a ventricular assist device, helps support patients who suffer from heart failure and require a heart transplant. But the decision to pull the device was almost inevitable after Medtronic issued three recalls this year alone.

The big picture: The FDA recommends doctors use Abbott's heart pump instead, although there are not many types of these ventricular assist devices.

  • Robbie Marcus, a medical device stock analyst at J.P. Morgan, wrote to investors that Abbott "should capture almost all of [Medtronic's] sales as the only competitor on the market."
  • Medtronic sold $141 million worth of its ventricular assist devices in its latest fiscal year and had already been losing sales to Abbott's version, which has shown a lower risk of stroke.
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