And you thought gasoline was expensive 2. June 2009 William Davis (5) In 1995, the Palmaz coronary stent was introduced, the brainchild of Drs. Julio Palmaz and Richard Schatz. Medical device manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, priced the device at $2500 per stent. Let's put this into perspective: At just 0.05 grams per 15 millimeter stent, that put the price of the common stainless steel used to manufacture the stent at $22,650,000 per pound. Only after several competing stents finally made it to market did J&J reduce its price to its bargain price of $1200, or $10,872,000 per pound. And to think that most of us were shocked to find out that the U.S. military paid $200 for a hammer. Since 1995, a competitive market for stents has developed, pushing prices down. Now, you can purchase a brand-new coronary stent for as little as $4,000,000 per pound. Medical device manufacturers have been guilty of a degree of greed that would make many Wall Street bankers blush. That's why I call medical devices "the industry of infinite markups."