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STAAR Surgical's Collamer(R) IOL Designated as a New Technology Intraocular Lens by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Date:3/17/2008

MONROVIA, Calif., March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA), a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive ophthalmic products, today announced that the Afinity Collamer(R) Aspheric foldable intraocular lens (IOL) Model CQ2015A has been designated as a New Technology Intraocular Lens (NTIOL) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To receive NTIOL recognition an IOL must first be an FDA approved IOL with labeling and advertising consistent with the specific claim or characteristic for which CMS approval is being sought. In addition, there must be evidence that the use of the IOL results in measurable, clinically meaningful improved patient outcomes in comparison with use of currently available IOLs. The STAAR Afinity Collamer Aspheric IOL has proven to reduce spheric aberrations leading to improved visual acuity and increased contrast sensitivity.

This approval for NTIOL reimbursement status means that Medicare will provide an additional reimbursement of $50 per Collamer Aspheric lens when provided to a Medicare patient in an Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC). ASCs perform well over one half of all cataract surgeries in the U.S. according to Market Scope, a leading market research provider for the ophthalmic market. The majority of STAAR's current IOL business is in the ASC segment. The NTIOL subset for Reduced Spherical Aberrations to which the STAAR Afinity Collamer Aspheric IOL has been approved will allow this enhanced reimbursement beginning today March 17, 2008 until February 26, 2011.

"STAAR is very pleased that CMS has recognized the benefits of the Collamer material in our Three Piece Aspheric IOL," said Barry G. Caldwell, President and CEO of STA
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