“Due to low commercial uptake, Abbott will stop selling the first-generation bioresorbable Absorb coronary stent. The sales volume for Absorb was low and it cost more to make Absorb than what we could sell it for, making it unsustainable and therefore had to be discontinued,” the company said.
Abbott told Business Standard that the withdrawal was due to commercial constraints. Absorb sales accounted for only about 1 per cent of global stent sales. Absorb is the only fully biodegradable stent.
Absorb has had its share of regulatory hassles. First the US FDA issued an advisory, and stated the efficacy of the stent was directly proportional to the implantation technique. The Central Drug Standards Organisation (CDSCO) has also asked Abbott to report any adverse effects caused due to the stent.
Abbott has been trying to withdraw its stent from India since the NPPA
capped coronary stent prices. Its previous application to the NPPA
was rejected. The NPPA
had asked the manufacturer to prove Absorb’s superiority over other stents to secure a better price.
A recent study found Absorb was not superior to everolimus-eluting stents. Stents are mesh tubes used to treat blocked arteries. The study, by online resource on interventional cardiology TCTMD, was done on 5,500 patients who had either Absorb or EES implants.
It found device-related issues in 11 Absorb-treated patients, but none in EES-treated patients. However, the research suggested results could depend on the technique used to implant the stent. The NPPA
had capped the prices of stents at around ~30,000 in February. The price of Absorb was almost ~2 lakh before the price cap.