In a major study released in the March 26, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that there were far too many angioplasties with stents being performed. They estimated that about 50,000 procedures per year could have been avoided and the patients treated with medication just as effectively. Each procedure costs about $25,000 and stent sales, dominated by Johnson and Johnson, are a $3 billion dollar per year business.
It’s time the American Medical Association cracked down on these unecessary surgeries. They expose patients to uncessary risks and contribute to the rising costs of health care.
Several years ago, Dean Ornash, M.D., a cardiologist from San Francisco, published findings in the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, that showed it was possible to reverse blocked arteries. Ornash’s method is to eat an extremely low fat diet coupled with stress reduction and exercise. These new findings reported here, further underscore the need for the AMA to get involved in uncessary surgeries, both from a patient safety and cost reduction perspective. There is no question that the stent manufacturers will launch a public relations campaign to discredit this research since it will hurt their bottom lines.