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AcrySof IQ IOL Designated as a New Technology Intraocular Lens

Designation will allow Medicare beneficiaries to select the advanced technology intraocular lens for an extra fee.

5/21/2006 10:00:00 PM EST -- BIOWIRE --Alcon, Inc. (NYSE:ACL) announced today that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized the AcrySof IQ intraocular lens (IOL) as belonging to the New Technology Intraocular Lens (NTIOL) classification of Reduced Spherical Aberration. This NTIOL designation is effective on May 19, 2006 and will increase the Medicare payment to ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) for cataract surgery by $50 when surgery is performed with an AcrySof IQ IOL. This NTIOL subset and adjusted payment for the AcrySof IQ IOL will remain in effect until February 27, 2011.

The AcrySof IQ IOL is an aspheric lens that is designed to reduce spherical aberration and has been shown to improve night driving performance versus a conventional spherical IOL. In order to gain inclusion in the NTIOL category, AcrySof IQ demonstrated the same or greater clinical benefit as the lens that established the NTIOL subset.

All currently available artificial lenses filter UV light, but the AcrySof  IQ IOL filters both UV and blue light. The AcrySof  IQ lens is transparent yellow -- the color necessary to filter blue light. The patented yellow tint does not alter the natural colors of the things you see or the quality of your vision.

The AcrySof  IQ IOL is designed to conform to the natural shape of the lens capsule. This helps it stay stable and centered in the eye. But what makes the AcrySof  IQ IOL unique is its ability to filter blue light.

"We are pleased that CMS has recognized the clinical advantages that patients gain from this advanced lens technology versus conventional IOL implants," said Kevin Buehler, senior vice president, United States and chief marketing officer. "Studies have shown that by reducing spherical aberration, the AcrySof IQ IOL enhances image quality and improves contrast sensitivity."

About Alcon

Alcon, Inc. (NYSE: ACL) is the world's leading eye care company with sales of $4.4 billion in 2005. Alcon, which has been dedicated to the ophthalmic industry for more than 50 years, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contacts lens care solutions and other vision care products that treat diseases, disorders and other conditions of the eye. For more information on Alcon, Inc., visit the Company's web site at

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