"You can't keep stuffing gizmos into people" to treat them

Interesting tidbit the other day on the Wall Street Journal Health blog. Excerpt:

"Would-be medical-device entrepreneurs got a sobering message Wednesday at a Boston conference of academic researchers and medical-device companies.

“You can’t keep stuffing gizmos into people to treat end-stage disease,? the keynote speaker said. “When biotechnology gets right, we’re finished. Because it’s restorative, not palliative as devices are.?

The seemingly pessimistic speaker? Device giant Medtronic’s senior vice president for medicine and technology, Stephen Oesterle.

Oesterle, an ex-Harvard cardiologist, joked that he was contributing to “the destruction of my own company.? His remarks, clearly containing some hyperbole to drive home a bigger point, were made to a few hundred academic and industry device researchers gathered for a meeting of the Boston-based Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology. Medtronic, Boston Scientific and General Electric were among the corporate sponsors for the event.

The bottom line? “It’s done. Devices ultimately are done,? Oesterle said.

In his address, he also contended that America’s leadership in medical devices –- including Medtronic’s –- is due less to American ingenuity than it is to the availability of risk capital in the U.S.

The pacemaker, the coronary stent, the dual-chambered pacemaker, the implanted defibrillator, and the implanted cardiac resynchronizer were all originally invented in Europe, South America, or Israel, Oesterle said, then commercialized here."

Now sit back and watch the device industry's spin machine go into high gear.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on October 31, 2008 9:32 AM.

Patients v. Pharma was the previous entry in this blog.

On-air spat between anchor and medical correspondent is the next entry in this blog.

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