* Involves 6,300 Concerto CRT-D and Virtuoso ICD
* Cites battery problem due to a copper component
(Adds details on advisory, updates stock price)
CHICAGO, Sept 11 Medtronic Inc (MDT.N) said it
is warning doctors about problems with 6,300 implantable heart
devices because the batteries in the devices drain sooner than
Medtronic spokesman Christopher Garland said patient safety
was not at risk because the affected devices, called Concerto
CRT-D and Virtuoso ICD, will provide three months' warning
before their batteries run down.
CRT-D and ICD are implanted into the chest and help manage
irregular heart beats.
"There is no risk of sudden loss of output and these
devices will continue to deliver therapy as needed until they
reach end of service. Patients do not have to do anything
differently. They should keep up with their regular device
check-ups," Medtronic said in a statement.
In a letter to heart doctors sent earlier this month,
Medtronic said the affected devices were manufactured primarily
in 2006 and can be traced to a specific subset of low voltage
capacitors. The company said it had received no reports of
death or injury related to the issue.
"Although the affected population is relatively small and
the safety risk appears contained, we believe this represents
yet another black eye for Medtronic's Cardiac Rhythm Management
franchise and could incrementally erode market share and their
standing among physicians." said analyst Derrick Sung of
broker-dealer Sanford Bernstein.
Rick Wise, an analyst with Leerink Swann, played down the
issue, saying the number was small and that it should not be a
surprise that from time to time there would be problems with
sophisticated medical devices.
Shares of Medtronic were down 1.6 percent at $38.39. in
morning New York Stock Exchange trade.
(Reporting by Debra Sherman; editing by John Wallace, Steve
Orlofsky, Dave Zimmerman)