U.S. may adopt premium IOLs more quickly

December 1, 2007

The U.S. ophthalmic market will embrace the use of premium IOLs rapidly, whereas less flexible reimbursement programs in Europe and Japan will delay the adoption of them in those markets, the Millennium Research Group (MRG) has forecast.

Waltham, MA-The U.S. ophthalmic market will embrace the use of premium IOLs rapidly, whereas less flexible reimbursement programs in Europe and Japan will delay the adoption of them in those markets, the Millennium Research Group (MRG) has forecast.

In many European countries, cataract procedures are reimbursed at a fixed amount and, therefore, premium IOLs are used only in procedures paid for with out-of-pocket funds, according to MRG. By comparison, in the United States, IOLs that have been granted new technology IOL reimbursement status receive additional Medicare reimbursement of $50 per lens for procedures performed in ambulatory surgical centers.

In Japan, said Cheyne Singh, an analyst at MRG, "advanced IOL technology has had slow adoption . . . mainly because of low reimbursement rates and a slow approval process. Many industry insiders consider the Japanese medical device regulatory approval process to be costly, time-consuming, and a major hindrance in developing the Japanese IOL market."