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Reviewing 2005: The Top Medical Device Stories

Executive Summary

The device industry was robust in 2005. Share prices remain strong for the most part--some orthopedics and cardiovascular companies struggled, but for the most part device stock indices continue strong--and the IPO window for start-ups remains open. New technology is flowing and so are venture dollars. Certainly, the device industry has had few instances of the kinds of bad news that Big Pharma and biotechs have struggled with: investor frustration, high-profile pipeline problems, and general industry struggles to find a viable long-term strategy, with a couple of exceptions. The battle for Guidant was widely-reported precisely because Guidant ran into problems with its ICD line, which caused Johnson & Johnson to hesitate and opened the door for a rival bid from Boston Scientific. Similarly, conflict of interest stories were featured in several general business publications, all with a decidedly negative spin. We don't share the view that conflict of interest is a real problem-just the opposite: physician involvement in device development is the lifeblood of the industry.
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