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Zila & Experts Testify at Congressional Hearing on Innovative Technology for Veterans; Urge Broader Use of ViziLite(R) Plus by VA for Oral Cancer Screening
Date:5/13/2009

Plus, which is covered by many insurance companies. Even inmates in many federal prisons have access to this technology. It's not right that our Veterans, who have put their lives on the line for this nation, should be denied this effective, proven, scientifically sound healthcare technology."

Zila has contracted to provide ViziLite Plus to the VA at a steep discount. Bethune said individual VA facilities have "dragged their heels" on performing the three-minute, painless ViziLite exam, citing false issues like cost or inconvenience. He told the congressional panel that screening all 5.5 million Veterans who access VA facilities yearly would cost about $60 million, "a sum that would be easily recouped by the reduction in surgeries, long-term care, suffering and death." Bethune pointed to a Delta Dental analysis showing that treatment of late stage oral cancer typically exceeds $200,000 per patient, while treatment of pre-cancerous lesions costs only $500 - $1,500. "For patients, early detection means a faster return to the workplace, which reduces lost wages and improves productivity," he observed.

Also testifying today was Dr. David Sidransky, Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Research Division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Professor of Oncology, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Cellular & Molecular Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Hospital. He is one of the world's most cited cancer researchers, and author of over 340 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Sidransky told the committee that worldwide research shows that visual examination by untrained examiners often misses the earliest, more curable lesions. "By contrast, published studies reporting sensitivity values for ViziLite are consistent. To date, the sensitivity of ViziLite examination in identifying dysplasia and cancer is reported as 100%." Beside ViziLite Plus, he continued, "No other medica
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SOURCE Zila, Inc.
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