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Covidien to stop making hypertension devices

(Reuters) - Covidien Plc said it would stop making devices for treating high blood pressure due to weak industry-wide demand.

The device, known as a renal denervation system, belongs to a class of products that take a new approach to treating hypertension and are aimed at patients resistant to traditional drug-based therapies.

Covidien's device is approved in Europe and is being tested in the United States. The adoption of such devices has been slow as austere governments are reluctant to pay for the unconventional technology.

These devices work by creating tiny scars along nerves in the kidneys - organs that play a pivotal role in regulating blood pressure by sending signals to the brain that can cause blood vessels to constrict.

This scarring process is carried out by threading a catheter through the renal arteries from the groin. It deadens the nerves and decreases blood pressure.

Covidien said the decision to exit the business was a result of its regular review of strategic programs.

Covidien said it expects to record after-tax charges of $20-$25 million as a result of exiting the program.

The company's shares were unchanged in light premarket trading on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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