Guidant Corp Issues New Warning – Now Pacemakers

Guidant has shared more information about problems with some of its pacemakers. A news article reports that “the Indianapolis-based company, which last month recalled almost 109,000 defibrillators, released a warning that said a sealing component in the pacemakers had degraded in some cases, resulting in higher-than-normal moisture in the devices and possible malfunction.”

The models at issue are: Pulsar Max, Pulsar, Discovery, Meridian, Pulsar Max II, Discovery II, Virtus Plus II, Intelis II and Contak TR. The devices have not been implanted in patients in about four years.

There are about 18,000 of the pacemakers still implanted in patients. About 88,000 of the defibrillators remain in patients.

Guidant said that it would replace the pacemakers at no charge through the end of the year, even though the warranty on many had expired, and that it would reimburse patients as much as $2,500 for medical expenses. That later offer seems light to me, especially when that $2500 is probably subject to a claim of reimbursement or subrogation from a government payor or health insurance company.