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STAAR SURGICAL RESPONDS TO MEDICARE CUTS; CHAIRMAN STATES CUTS WILL NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT STAAR

 MONROVIA, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the Dow Jones wire story, "Medicare cuts Target Clinical Labs, Intraocular Lens Makers", STAAR Surgical Company's Chairman LaMar F. Laster has issued the following statement:
 "As the wire copy stated, many of the final cuts in Medicare reimbursements to Ambulatory Surgery Centers ("ASC") were expected, including the reimbursement cut on intraocular lens implants to $150 from $200. All Medicare cuts carry with them the negative implication that surgeons and patients will be limited in the array of healthcare product and services they may choose from. For high-cost producers of healthcare products these cuts may prove problematic. However, STAAR Surgical is the technological leader in innovative, cost effective, new products and is the low-cost manufacturer of state-of-the-art IOL's, therefore, the proposed cuts will have at most a diminutive effect on STAAR's growth and bottom line.
 "First of all STAAR's manufacturing process is completed in the only 'Class 100' clean room in the industry. Our patented material allows for heat sterilization -- a process that is preferred by surgeons to chemical sterilization and a process that translates to lower production and ultimately lower procedural costs.
 "Secondly, STAAR holds the patent on all foldable IOL's and will continue to receive royalties from other foldable IOL manufacturers pursuant to the applicable license agreements. As we have stated before, the IOL marketplace is projected to convert to a minimum 80 percent of foldable IOL's by the mid 1990's.
 "Third, STAAR's foldable lens technology allows for smaller incisions, local anesthesia and a faster recovery time -- all critical cost saving incentives to the healthcare industry.
 "Fourth, once a more thorough and non-political analysis of cost- effective measures relative to IOL's has been completed by congress, the data should show that the use of STAAR's particular design of IOL could save the U.S. Government (U.S. taxpayers) more than $1 billion a year simply by virtue of the STAAR IOL's unique ability to reduce post capsular hazing and therefore, the need for an expensive (up to $800 per procedure) post operative laser procedure currently required for all other IOL's.
 "Finally, STAAR's mid- to long-term strategy includes expansion in the worldwide Vision Care marketplace, a strategy that already has been successfully launched. In the very near future, STAAR will introduce a unique and patented Implantable Contact Lens ("ICL") initially in foreign markets and, following FDA approval, in the United States. The ICL is aimed at patients with high myopia and hyperopia -- most of whom are younger patients who will elect to permanently correct their vision and who fall outside of government reimbursement parameters worldwide.
 "STAAR's long-term projected revenues show a rapidly decreasing dependency on regulated products such as IOL's and a commensurate increase in higher technology implantable lenses whose prices are market driven and not reliant on government subsidies or political whim."
 STAAR Surgical Company (NASDAQ: STAA), a publicly traded company founded in 1982, develops, manufactures and markets products for micro incision ophthalmic surgery, primarily for use in cataract procedures. All of STAAR's primary products are approved by the FDA.
 -0- 8/6/93
 /CONTACT: Investor Relations: William Roberts of Cameron Towey Central for STAAR Surgical Company, 513-469-0202, or Media Relations: Jane Ingalls of Sawyer/Miller Group for STAAR Surgical Company, 212-484-7558/
 (STAA)


CO: STAAR Surgical Company ST: California IN: MTC SU:

CF-BR -- AT005 -- 0202 08/06/93 09:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1993
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