A Philadelphia cardiologist has written a newspaper column questioning the efficacy and cost of Boston Scientific’s Watchman device for stroke prevention.
The Watchman left atrial appendage closure device is designed to prevent blood clots that form in the heart’s left atrial appendage from reaching the brain. Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) markets it as an alternative to blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin.
Dr. David Becker of Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology in Flourtown, Pa., part of the Temple University Heart & Vascular Institute, acknowledges the efficacy of blood thinners such as Eliquis, Xarelto and Pradaxa, but considers them expensive. Warfarin (marketed as Coumadin) is less expensive but necessitates frequent blood tests for monitoring.