Medtronic ICD Recall

The FDA has announced a Class I recall of certain models of Medtronic implantable defibrillators and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators.  The statement from the FDA can be found here.

The recall impacts Medtronic’s Evera and Visia brands of ICDs as well as its Viva, Brava, Claria, Amplia and Compia brands of cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) implanted from August 31, 2012 to May 9, 2018. The problem is described as “an unexpected and rapid decrease in battery life” caused by a short circuit. The defect may cause devices to go from recommended replacement time (when your alarm sounds to notify you that it is time to schedule a replacement surgery) to full battery depletion in just one day.  Normally, you would have approximately 3 months from the time that the alarm first sounds to schedule a procedure to implant a replacement.

According to this article, there have been 444 complaints and 264 medical device reports about this issue which impacts 239,171 devices.

To look up your device by product name, model or serial number to see whether it is impacted, click here.

The box in the upper right corner labeled “Advisories For This Model” will tell you if there are any advisories for your device.  If this particular recall affects your device, you will see the same advisory which is circled in red in the photo below.

Medtronic recall 1

Patients are advised to continue routine follow ups and use the Care Link Monitoring System.

And, as always, you can call Medtronic Patient Services with any questions at: (800) 551-5544

(M – F, 8am – 5pm Central).

Experts Put Mavacamten in Perspective

An article published today in Circulation by HCM experts Dr. Steve Ommen of Mayo Clinic and Dr. Martin Maron of Tufts Medical Center, discusses the prospective use of mavacamten as a treatment for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The doctors conclude that while mavacamten (assuming that it is FDA approved in early 2022) will have its place in the HCM tool kit, it should not replace septal reduction therapy for severe HOCM.

In particular, the article points out that the EXPLORER-HCM study showed modest improvements in symptoms and functional capacity (peak V02), comparable to those seen in the RESET-HCM study, which highlighted the ability of regular exercise to improve functional status in HCM.  

The article notes that there has not yet been a study directly comparing mavacamten with septal reduction therapies such as septal myectomy and alcohol septal reduction. The VALOR-HCM study, which is currently recruiting, will look at these therapies compared head-to-head.  It is noteworthy that the majority of patients in the EXPLORER trial had Class II heart failure and were not the more severely compromised Class III and IV patients most likely to benefit from myectomy or alcohol septal ablation.

This article compared historical myectomy data against the findings from EXPLORER, concluding that septal myectomy produces a better result for patients, with gradients abolished in more than 95% of patients compared to only 50% of patients with mavacamten.  And, the article points out that 25% of the patients in the EXPLORER trial continued to have left ventricular outflow tract gradients greater than or equal to 50mmHg, which still qualified them for septal reduction therapy.

Maron and Ommen’s take-home message is that mavacamten will be a welcome addition to the arsenal of HCM drugs and is potentially suitable for patients who do not have severe symptoms, who do not have access to septal reduction at a HCM specialty center, or who wish to avoid more invasive therapies.  It also may be used in the same way as disopyramide, to defer surgery by improving symptoms to a tolerable level.

Lastly, this article points out that there is a need for longer term follow up to study the effects of cardiac remodeling caused by mavacamten.

While it is wonderful to have options, it is important that patients and their medical team consider all available information, including potential benefit and risk, before moving forward with medical therapy. 

Mavacamten Approaches Finish Line

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to complete its review of mavacamten and release its decision on whether to approve the drug for sale in the U.S. by January 28, 2022.

This week, Bristol Myers Squibb submitted its New Drug Application for mavacamten to the FDA. Mavacamten is the first drug specifically designed to treat obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The application was based on the recent positive results of the Phase 3  EXPLORER-HCM trial

In October of last year, Bristol Myers Squibb paid $13.1 billion to purchase MyoKardia, the San Francisco based biotech company which developed mavacamten as a novel cardiac myosin modulator for the treatment of of HCM.

The FDA has assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date of January 28, 2022 to the drug, which means that the FDA is expected to complete its review of mavacamten by January 28, 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLOSURES:  CYNTHIA BURSTEIN WALDMAN OF HCMBEAT SERVED AS A PATIENT ADVISOR ON THE STEERING COMMITTEE OF MYOKARDIA’S EXPLORER TRIAL AND IS AN AUTHOR OF THE STUDY AS PUBLISHED IN THE LANCET.  CYNTHIA ALSO SERVES ON MYOKARDIA’S PATIENT ADVISORY BOARD.

 

Reporting Issue with 50,000 Medtronic Fidelis ICD Leads

According to a story broken by Kaiser Health News this week, due to a reporting waiver granted to Medtronic by the FDA, as many as 50,000 problems with the Medtronic Fidelis lead were not reported to the FDA.  Ordinarily, the FDA uses its MAUDE database to collect reports of adverse events in medical devices.  In these cases, the MAUDE database was circumvented.

Medtronic responded by saying that instead of using MAUDE, they disclosed the issues in summary fashion to the FDA, as well as reporting them to physicians and to the public.

The following stories provide additional details about this controversy:

CNN

Minneapolis Star Tribune

ArsTechnica

MassDevice.com

 

Could St. Jude ICDs be a Target for Hackers? FDA Issues Safety Advisory

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a safety advisory regarding St. Jude Medical implantable cardiac devices used in conjunction with St. Jude’s proprietary Merlin @home Transmitter.

According to the advisory, these devices could potentially be vulnerable to hacking. However, only a highly skilled hacker would be sophisticated enough to exploit the vulnerability.  Such unwarranted interference could conceivably cause premature battery depletion or unnecessary shocks.

A software patch has been developed for the Merlin @home monitor designed to address the issue and to reduce the risk of hacking.  The update is now available and will be applied automatically to the Merlin monitor.

***Patients only need to make sure their Merlin@home Transmitter remains plugged in and connected in order to receive the software patch.***

Short-selling firm Muddy Waters first went public with this information in August, believing that it might cause a pending $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical by Abbott Laboratories to fall apart. However, the deal closed last week despite the issue.

See also:

This article on Medscape

This article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

This article on Huffington Post.

This article on CNBC.