Stent maker, WS looking to calm recall concerns

NATICK, MA: Boston Scientific is working with its AOR, Weber Shandwick, to allay the concerns of investors and physicians after the recall of its newest product, while facing criticism over its response time to the recall.

NATICK, MA: Boston Scientific is working with its AOR, Weber Shandwick, to allay the concerns of investors and physicians after the recall of its newest product, while facing criticism over its response time to the recall.

The problem for the medical-device company started July 2 with the recall of 200 malfunctioning Taxus stents, a device for holding open clogged arteries. Two weeks later, the company recalled another 85,000 units.

At least one analyst has questioned the timing of the July 16 press release, which was issued several hours after analysts first learned that trading in the company's stock was being halted.

"If you are a company that's going to halt your stock, you want to get a press release out right away," said Mark Landy, an analyst with Susquehanna International Group.

Meanwhile, Thestreet.com quoted a Prudential Securities analyst report suggesting that, while the first recall seemed routine, "opinion leaders, especially, grew profoundly irritated as they considered the evolution of the recall."

"I think they mishandled the first [recall]," Landy said. "If they were open the first time around, the impact would've been less."

Paul Donovan, VP of corporate communications, did not return a call seeking comment.

However, Micho Spring, chairwoman of WS' North American corporate practice, said the company notified investors "as soon as it was feasible."

"Our global team has worked hard to facilitate the flow of information," Spring said, adding that the agency is also working on the ground in Ireland, the site of a manufacturing plant. The company held a webcast for physicians and dispatched sales reps to answer questions.

Boston Scientific pushed back the release of its second quarter financial results one week to today to account for $45 million in lost sales stemming from the recalls.

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