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Medtronic Posts Prelim PRODIGY Outcome on Opioid Overdose

Zacks Equity Research

Medtronic plc MDT recently announced preliminary results from its long-initiated PRODIGY study, which is a global evaluation of opioid induced respiratory depression (OIRD), a preventable form of respiratory compromise.

The PRODIGY (PRediction of Opioid-induced respiratory Depression In patients monitored by capnoGraphY) is a prospective, multi-center, post-market, international cohort study. It was based on 1,496 patients across 16 sites in the United States, Europe and Asia. This is the largest known study using continuous capnography and oximetry.

The preliminary report showed that investigators were able to develop an easy-to-use risk prediction tool for the identification of patients at high risk of developing respiratory compromise to a potentially life-threatening condition causing a progressive inability to breathe adequately. This apart, the result highlighted that more than 40% of patients on the general care floor experienced OIRD. This outcome is significantly higher than the previously reported data in clinical literature.

The U.S. Opioid Overdose Crisis

The opioid crisis in the United States began during the 1990s, which has been causing death waves across the nation. In fact, the epidemic has reduced the overall life expectancy of the country.

Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, this crisis resulted in more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017. The opioid overdose induced deaths included prescription opioids, heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

As a preventive measure, MedTech bigwig McKesson Corporation reports controlled substances transactions via the automated ARCOS drug reporting system. Notably, ARCOS is an automated, comprehensive drug reporting system, which monitors the flow of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) controlled substances.

Of late, Becton, Dickinson and Company, also known as BD, launched the HealthSight diversion management application to help hospitals and health systems identify drug diversion.

Under these circumstances, the positive PRODIGY study release from Medtronic has undoubtedly been the most timely and a strategic finding. The complete results are expected to be published in 2019.

Price Performance

Over the past three months, Medtronic has underperformed the industry. The stock has increased 2.1% as compared to the 5.8% rise of the industry.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Medtronic currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Penumbra, Inc. PEN, Amedisys, Inc. AMED and Abbott Laboratories ABT.

Penumbra’s long-term earnings growth rate is expected at 20%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Amedisys’ long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 18.8%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Abbott’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 11.7%. The stock has a Zacks Rank of 2.

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