Medical devices

Health industry expects little change from heart study

An illustration of a heart vessel with a stent inside.
How a stent works. Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A new federal study said stents and bypass surgery are no more effective than drugs for treating blocked arteries, but the health care industry and its investors aren't banking on major changes to heart care as a result.

The big picture: Placing stents and performing bypasses are two of the most common operating room procedures. Science continues to say we don't need to be doing them so often, but overhauling that standard of care isn't easy — in part because hospitals and device makers make a lot of money from them.

Stryker to buy Wright Medical for $4 billion

A doctor wearing green scrubs looks at shoulder x-rays mounted on a viewing light.
Wright Medical sells many device for upper-body procedures. Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Medical device manufacturer Stryker is acquiring competitor Wright Medical for $4 billion in cash. The deal is valued at $5.4 billion when factoring in debt.

The big picture: The medical device industry would become even more consolidated with this takeover, and Stryker would have more than $15 billion in annual sales and a bolstered presence with shoulder, elbow and wrist procedures. However, Stryker and Wright Medical have some overlap with ankle devices, which could raise antitrust issues, Reuters notes.