FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS—Today Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he and 35 other state attorneys general have reached a settlement with Guidant Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boston Scientific and one of the world?s three largest manufacturers of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs). The settlement concerns the sale of one particular ICD, the Ventak Prizm 2 DR Model 1861 (Prizm). Mississippi’s share of the $16,750,000.00 is $390,000.00, which will be used to fund consumer education and enforcement of consumer protection laws in the state.
Attorney General Jim Hood and the other attorneys general began investigating Guidant when they learned that Guidant made changes in 2002 to correct a Prizm wiring problem that could cause the unit to short circuit. If the Prizm short-circuited, it could fail to deliver a life-saving jump-start to a patient?s heart when needed. Guidant continued to sell unmodified Prizms even after making two separate changes to correct the Prizm wiring problem. Guidant did not inform physicians or the public until May, 2005, that it had continued to sell unmodified Prizms in 2002 and 2003.
Pursuant to the settlement, Guidant has agreed to implement certain ICD Safety programs, publicly report important safety information about the potentially life-saving heart devices it manufactures and pay $16,750,000.00 to the states, up to $1,000,000 of which will supplement Guidant?s warranty program in order to recompense consumers. Guidant does not admit to any wrongdoing. Further information for consumers and physicians by contacting the Attorney General?s Office at 601-359-4230 or 1-800-281-4418.