Boston Scientific to pay $30 million to settle Guidant charges

Boston Scientific has agreed to pay $30 million to settle federal charges that a business unit it acquired previously sold defective heart devices.

The government charged Guidant, a Minnesota company Boston Scientific acquired in 2006, with selling devices between 2002 and 2005 that the company knew to be flawed. As of 2010, at least 13 deaths were blamed on failed units and others were seriously injured. About 20,000 patients in the United States may have had the devices implanted.

"[Patients] received that Guidant defibrillator assuming that they were getting a high-quality device," said Jeanne Cooney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota. "In fact, they were given in some instances — and this was known to Guidant — a device that actually became ineffective."

In 2010, Guidant pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading the FDA.

The federal government has received $16.5 billion in settlements from companies accused of making false claims since 2009.

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