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The Federal Trade Commission has approved certain modifications to medical device company Boston Scientific Corp.’s Divestiture Agreements. The FTC approved these agreements and incorporated them into its order as part of a consent agreement it required in 2019, when Boston Scientific acquired medical equipment and pharmaceutical supplier BTG plc. The modifications relate to certain confidential provisions of the Divestiture Agreements and are necessary to ensure that divestiture buyer Varian Medical Systems becomes a viable manufacturer and seller of Drug Eluding Beads, or DEBs, and bland beads. This action is being taken pursuant to Commission Rule 2.41(f)(5)(i).  As a condition of Boston Scientific Corp.’s acquisition of BTG plc., the FTC required it to divest to Varian its DEBs and bland beads business. DEBs are microscopic beads that are coated with chemotherapy drugs and used to treat certain liver cancers. Interventional radiologists use DEBs in a procedure called transarterial chemoembolization. Bland beads are used in another type of procedure to block the flow of blood to a liver tumor. The divestiture settled FTC charges that Boston Scientific Corp.’s $4.2 billion acquisition of BTG plc. would violate federal antitrust law. The Commission initially voted 5-0 to approve the final order in September 2019.

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Maribeth Petrizzi
Bureau of Competition