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Smith & Nephew Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Products To Be Available To Patients Through the Medicare Part B Competitive Bidding Process

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., June 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Advanced Wound Management Division of Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) announced today that its negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) products will be available in nine of the ten designated metropolitan areas included in the first phase of the competitive bidding program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the U.S. The program, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2008, was established, in part, to ensure that Medicare patients have access to quality homecare products and services and that these and their providers meet Medicare's new financial and quality standards.

The Smith & Nephew EZCARE(TM) system for in-hospital use and the V1STA(TM) portable system for home use are proven treatments for hard to heal wounds based on the well-established principles of negative pressure wound therapy. The benefits of this treatment have been demonstrated since the late 1800s. The Smith & Nephew systems are FDA-cleared and have demonstrated excellent clinical results at a lower pressure than commonly used in other NPWT technologies. This lower pressure is comfortable for the patient and can improve usage rates for the treatment in the homecare environment. The clinical effectiveness of the Chariker-Jeter(TM) technique on which the Smith & Nephew NPWT dressing system is based was documented and published in 1989(1). Recent clinical research, published in the June edition of International Wound Journal and that will be presented at the 2008 World Union of Wound Healing Societies meeting in Toronto, Canada, concludes that the Smith & Nephew gauze-based NPWT systems are clinically effective with statistically significant reduction in wound volume and wound area similar to those published for foam-based NPWT systems(2).

To help ensure that homecare patients have access to clinically-proven NPWT, Smith & Nephew recently announced that it has entered into a preferred provider agreement with Apria Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: AHG), America's leading provider of integrated home healthcare products and services. Apria was awarded contracts to provide NPWT to beneficiaries in seven of the ten designated competitive bidding areas included in the first phase of the CMS competitive bidding program. With approximately 550 locations throughout the U.S., Apria serves over 2 million patients annually. The Apria/Smith & Nephew collaboration will provide a smooth transition from hospital to homecare, giving more patients access to clinically effective NPWT while reducing overall treatment costs. In addition to Apria being awarded contracts, Smith & Nephew NPWT systems will be available through existing regional providers in two further competitive bidding areas.

In addition, Smith & Nephew has been working in collaboration with Universal Hospital Services, Inc. (UHS) since October 2007, providing NPWT to the U.S. acute care and long-term care markets. The continuum of care is completed, through UHS focusing on acute care and LTACs, and Apria, along with our existing regional providers, providing NPWT to home patients upon hospital discharge.

As a global leader in wound care, Smith & Nephew is unique in that it offers a total wound management solution that includes NPWT and a comprehensive portfolio of advanced wound management products from ACTICOAT(TM) and ALLEVYN(TM) to VERSAJET(TM), along with service and education to help ensure that the right products are used at the right time on the right wounds. In addition to being FDA-cleared in the U.S., the Smith & Nephew NPWT systems are cleared for sale in Australia, Canada and South Africa as well as CE-marked for use in Europe.

For more information about Smith & Nephew NPWT products, please visit our Web site at


1. Chariker ME, Jeter KF, Tintle TE, Ottsford JE. Effective management of incisional and cutaneous fistulae with closed suction wound draining. Contemp. Surg. 1989; 34:59-63

2. Campbell PE, Smith GS, Smith JM. Retrospective clinical evaluation of gauze-based negative pressure wound therapy. Int. Wound J. 2008; 5: 280-286



Liz Hewitt +44 (0)20 7401 7646

Group Director Corporate Affairs

Smith & Nephew


Cindy Leggett-Flynn +1 (212) 333-3810

Robin Gilliland

Brunswick - New York

Jon Coles +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Justine McIlroy

Brunswick - London

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business, specializing in Orthopedic Reconstruction, Orthopedic Trauma and Clinical Therapies, Endoscopy and Advanced Wound Management products. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the leading global orthopedics companies.

Smith & Nephew is dedicated to helping improve people's lives. The Company prides itself on the strength of its relationships with its surgeons and professional healthcare customers, with whom its name is synonymous with high standards of performance, innovation and trust. The Company operates in 32 countries around the world. Annual sales in 2007 were $3.4 billion.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, statements regarding expected revenue growth and trading margins are forward-looking statements as are discussions of our product pipeline. These statements, as well as the phrases "aim", "plan", "intend", "anticipate", "well-placed", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "target", "consider" and similar expressions, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors (including, but not limited to, the harmonization of sales practices, the outcome of litigation, claims and regulatory approvals) that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Smith & Nephew, or industry results, to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents that Smith & Nephew has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including Smith & Nephew's most recent annual report on Form 20F, for a discussion of certain of these factors.

All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Smith & Nephew as of the date hereof. All written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Smith & Nephew or any person acting on behalf of Smith & Nephew are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing. Smith & Nephew does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Smith & Nephew's expectation with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

(TM) Trademark of Smith & Nephew. Certain marks registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Appendix - Notes to Editors

Smith & Nephew NPWT Products

Since May 2007, Smith & Nephew has been able to include negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) within its comprehensive wound management product range. NPWT is a technology used to treat chronic wounds such as diabetic ulcers, pressure sores, as well as post-operative and hard-to-heal wounds. It aids in the healing of open wounds by the application of sub-atmospheric pressure.

Smith & Nephew has now added a range of NPWT products to its advanced wound management portfolio including:

EZCARE(TM) -- A NPWT system that is designed for simple operation to minimize training requirements and improve efficiency. It has a long battery life, safety alarms, patient lockout and a quiet operation. It also operates at lower vacuum levels enhancing patient comfort and compliance.

V1STA(TM) -- A NPWT system that is lightweight and easily portable. The device incorporates a range of safety features such as low vacuum alarms for detection of leaks and sensing technology to protect against high vacuum levels.

Both NPWT systems are designed to be used with a range of wound sealing dressing kits, and canisters now offered by Smith & Nephew. The EZCARE and V1STA systems involve simple dressing changes that take less nursing time and are easy to learn and teach.

SOURCE Smith & Nephew
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