Health Highlights: March 16, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA Panel Recommends Approval of Dissolving Heart Stent

A dissolving heart stent should be approved for sale in the United States, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended Tuesday.

The committee of outside experts said the Absorb stent is effective and safe for helping open clogged arteries that can lead to heart attack and death, the Associated Press reported.

The FDA, which typically follows the advice of its expert panels, will make a decision on the device later this year.

Abbott Laboratories wants the FDA to approve the dissolving stent as an alternative to permanent, metal stents.

The Absorb stent is made of material that remains intact for a year after implantation, and then gradually breaks down over the following two years, the AP reported.

Recently, two cardiologists noted that the Absorb stent has not been shown to offer patients better outcomes than current stents, the AP reported.

“‘Here today, gone tomorrow’ remains an incredibly intriguing concept that still needs further development and follow-up to reach its full potential,” Dr. David Holmes and Dr. Michael Mack wrote in an editorial published last month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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