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NEWS
July 8, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Not every electrical device can keep going and going. Take Medtronic’s SynchroMed II Implantable Drug Infusion Pump, for example. The batteries that power the implanted drug delivery device have been reported to fail, Medtronic announced Friday, though such occurrences are rare.  The company said it first warned physicians of the battery problem in 2009. By the end of May, there had been 55 cases of “reduced battery performance” out of the nearly 140,000 pumps that have been implanted worldwide (about 4 in 10,000 devices)
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
While building an oscillator to record heart sounds, Wilson Greatbatch made a fortuitous mistake in the late 1950s. After he grabbed the wrong resistor from a box and plugged it in, the unit gave off a startlingly familiar, uneven electrical pulse. "I stared at the thing in disbelief and then realized that this was exactly what was needed to drive a heart," he wrote in his 2000 memoir "The Making of the Pacemaker. " The accidental discovery propelled the electrical engineer to handcraft the first practical implantable pacemaker.
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BUSINESS
March 10, 1999 | LESLIE EARNEST, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Medtronic Inc. said Tuesday it plans to close its Anaheim plant within two years, eliminating most of the 560 jobs to avoid duplicating work at another site that the company has acquired. Employees learned of the closure on Monday, the same day Medtronic completed its acquisition of the Minnesota-based Avecor Cardiovascular Inc. The Anaheim and Avecor facilities make devices that supply oxygen to blood that is rerouted outside of the body during heart surgery.
NEWS
July 8, 2011 | By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
Not every electrical device can keep going and going. Take Medtronic’s SynchroMed II Implantable Drug Infusion Pump, for example. The batteries that power the implanted drug delivery device have been reported to fail, Medtronic announced Friday, though such occurrences are rare.  The company said it first warned physicians of the battery problem in 2009. By the end of May, there had been 55 cases of “reduced battery performance” out of the nearly 140,000 pumps that have been implanted worldwide (about 4 in 10,000 devices)
BUSINESS
February 25, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
After years of pressure, medical device maker Medtronic Inc. will begin disclosing how much money it gives physicians in consulting and other payments, though the reporting threshold is far higher than currently proposed legislation. The move comes months after two U.S. senators asked the company to disclose more about its consulting arrangements with physicians and cited earlier allegations that the company paid surgeons to boost spinal implant sales. Medtronic said it would begin annual disclosures in March 2011.
BUSINESS
May 7, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Medtronic Inc. said it would eliminate about 1,100 jobs this year, or almost 3% of its workforce, in businesses where growth has slowed, including its flagship heart rhythm device unit. The company said it also would consolidate certain manufacturing and research-and-development operations as part of a realignment of its global workforce. As part of the restructuring effort, Minneapolis-based Medtronic will move its endovascular manufacturing operations to Galway, Ireland, from Santa Rosa, Calif.
BUSINESS
March 10, 1999 | LESLIE EARNEST, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Medtronic Inc. said Tuesday it plans to close its Anaheim plant within two years, eliminating most of the 560 jobs to avoid duplicating work at another site the company has acquired. Employees learned Monday of the closure, the same day Medtronic completed its acquisition of the Minnesota-based Avecor Cardiovascular Inc. The Anaheim and Minnesota facilities make devices that supply oxygen to blood that is routed outside the body during heart surgery.
NATIONAL
November 27, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac, Tribune Washington Bureau
A prominent Chicago spine surgeon serving as an advisor in the Department of Veterans Affairs is under scrutiny from congressional Republicans over his relationship with a medical device maker that paid him millions in consulting fees before he joined the government. Stephen Ondra, former director of spine surgery and professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University, got more than $3.7 million in royalties and consulting fees from Medtronic in the six months ending in June 2008, about 11 months before he became the VA's senior policy advisor for health affairs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
While building an oscillator to record heart sounds, Wilson Greatbatch made a fortuitous mistake in the late 1950s. After he grabbed the wrong resistor from a box and plugged it in, the unit gave off a startlingly familiar, uneven electrical pulse. "I stared at the thing in disbelief and then realized that this was exactly what was needed to drive a heart," he wrote in his 2000 memoir "The Making of the Pacemaker. " The accidental discovery propelled the electrical engineer to handcraft the first practical implantable pacemaker.
BUSINESS
May 31, 2001 | WALTER HAMILTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The paltry takeover premium Medtronic Inc. is paying for MiniMed Inc. is the exception rather than the rule in the merger arena this year. Under the $48-a-share merger proposal unveiled by Medtronic on Wednesday, MiniMed shareholders would receive a mere 9.1% premium over the company's Tuesday closing stock price. In contrast, corporate acquirers have paid an average premium of 54% this year, up from 49.2% last year, according to Mergerstat, a Los Angeles-based research firm.
NATIONAL
November 27, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac, Tribune Washington Bureau
A prominent Chicago spine surgeon serving as an advisor in the Department of Veterans Affairs is under scrutiny from congressional Republicans over his relationship with a medical device maker that paid him millions in consulting fees before he joined the government. Stephen Ondra, former director of spine surgery and professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University, got more than $3.7 million in royalties and consulting fees from Medtronic in the six months ending in June 2008, about 11 months before he became the VA's senior policy advisor for health affairs.
SCIENCE
July 4, 2009 | From Times Staff And Wire Reports
Zapping the brain with a mild electrical current appears to help patients with a difficult-to-treat form of cerebral palsy, French researchers said Wednesday. Patients in the study were implanted with pacemaker-like devices known as deep-brain stimulators made by Medtronic Inc., which helped fund the study. After a year, eight out of the 13 people had improvements in motor symptoms, the researchers reported in Lancet Neurology.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Medtronic Inc. is warning that 37,000 of its pacemakers may have wiring defects that can cause them to malfunction. The Minneapolis company says in a letter to physicians that the defect affects a subset of its Kappa and Sigma pacemakers, causing them to run out of battery power or not respond. About 1.7 million of the pacemakers have been implanted since 1997, the company estimates. Medtronic says it has received two reports of patient deaths where the pacemakers may have played a role.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2009 | Associated Press
Medtronic Inc. announced two acquisitions Monday that would expand the company's heart valve business at a price of more than $1 billion. Medtronic, the world's largest medical device maker, said it would pay $700 million for Corevalve Inc. in Irvine and $325 million for Israeli firm Ventor Technologies Ltd. Both companies make replacement heart valves.
BUSINESS
May 7, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Medtronic Inc. said it would eliminate about 1,100 jobs this year, or almost 3% of its workforce, in businesses where growth has slowed, including its flagship heart rhythm device unit. The company said it also would consolidate certain manufacturing and research-and-development operations as part of a realignment of its global workforce. As part of the restructuring effort, Minneapolis-based Medtronic will move its endovascular manufacturing operations to Galway, Ireland, from Santa Rosa, Calif.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Medtronic Inc. has agreed to pay about $130 million to settle claims that it hid defects in heart defibrillators, adding $55 million to an amount proposed in July, three people with direct knowledge of the deal said. The extra money will allow Medtronic to resolve about 2,600 claims, 600 more than were envisioned in the $75-million initial settlement, the people said. The company agreed to the higher amount last month after more claims were filed over the devices than expected, the people said.
SCIENCE
July 4, 2009 | From Times Staff And Wire Reports
Zapping the brain with a mild electrical current appears to help patients with a difficult-to-treat form of cerebral palsy, French researchers said Wednesday. Patients in the study were implanted with pacemaker-like devices known as deep-brain stimulators made by Medtronic Inc., which helped fund the study. After a year, eight out of the 13 people had improvements in motor symptoms, the researchers reported in Lancet Neurology.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Medtronic Inc. warned doctors Monday that the wires connecting a patient's heart to the firm's implantable defibrillators break too often. The news knocked Medtronic shares down $6.33 or 11.2% to $50. Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. The problem does not affect Medtronic pacemakers.
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