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Boston Scientific (BSX:NYSE - news - research) said Monday that early sales of its Taxus drug-coated stent for heart disease patients have exceeded expectations.

The Natick, Mass.-based company said after the bell that the stent -- which is inserted into arteries to facilitate blood flow and reduce the risk of arterial clogging -- produced $98 million in U.S. sales between March 8 and March 31, according to preliminary results. Official results will be published in two weeks when the company issues its financial report for the quarter ended March 31.

Boston Scientific had predicted in late February that U.S. Taxus sales would be between $54 million and $75 million for the period March 1 to March 31. But the Food and Drug Administrationslightly delayed the company's plans because the agency approved the device on March 4.
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