Study: St. Jude, Medtronic could benefit from Boston Sci woes

A recent study conducted March 18-24 by Majestic Research has found that Boston Scientific's March 15 decision to withdraw from the ICD market could negatively affect the company's reputation with doctors--and benefit rivals Medtronic and St. Jude Medical. Fifty-six percent of the 70 electrophysiologists surveyed say the market withdrawal has negatively affected their perception of the overall quality of the company's ICD devices. And 52 percent indicate they would be less likely to use the company's devices in the future.

"Boston Scientific's decision to suspend sales puts one-third of the market up for grabs, an extraordinary opportunity for those positioned to supply the market in the interim," says Philip Legendy, director and senior medical device analyst at Majestic Research. "Given their historical sales footprint, we expected to see Medtronic (MED) outpacing St. Jude's (STJ) share of the new business at a ratio of about 2 to 1. Our study suggests, however, that St. Jude is running only 13 points of share behind Medtronic in converting physicians who formerly preferred Boston Scientific ICDs."

Boston Scientific pulled its products after discovering it hadn't received FDA approval for manufacturing changes. During a physician conference call held March 29, company officials emphasized that the action isn't related to patient safety, but a submission process error.

Earlier this month, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Larry Biegelsen said Boston Scientific could lose $469 million in defibrillator sales during the next two years following its recall. He, too, saw Medtronic and St. Jude as beneficiaries of Boston Scientific's woes, according to the Boston Globe.

- see the Majestic Research release
- check out the Globes coverage

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