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The top drug-eluting stents

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What is the top-selling drug-eluting stent? It turns out that's a loaded question, because the global market for drug-eluting stents isn't what it used to be.

Five companies dominate the global market, according to EvaluateMedTech, and they enjoyed a peak of $4.5 billion in sales in 2009. Sales dropped to $4.376 billion in 2010 and essentially remained flat in 2011. Falling prices, fewer procedures in traditional markets and fierce competition created some casualties and have made it harder to generate growth in the sector moving ahead.

Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) used to be the market leader. In fact, the company essentially created the drug-eluting stent market. But newer, more nimble rivals drove it from a more than 50% market share to an also-ran in about 5 years. And as of 2012, the company has stopped making its Cypher drug-eluting stents altogether.

All of J&J's former arch rivals have faired differently. Medtronic's ($MDT) stent sales have grown steadily. Terumo, once not even a competitor, is generating some major international momentum with its signature stent. Boston Scientific ($BSX) lost ground but has taken major steps to spruce up its drug-eluting stent line in the hopes of growing revenue again in 2013. Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), meanwhile, became the company to beat in 2011, having bloodied some of its major rivals on the way up.

FierceMedicalDevices asked EvaluateMedTech to compile a list of the top drug-eluting stent sellers. Because this year's numbers have yet to finalize, we're presenting this list using last year's numbers. Keep in mind that the data is based on company statements and analyst reports, and is listed at the segmental sales level rather than the product sales level. Not every stent maker discloses sales of individual models. The compiled numbers, subsequently, reflect the fact that each stent has a family of products with a common name. What drug-eluting stent sold the most? -- Mark Hollmer (email | Twitter