A Medical Device Daily

Staar Surgical (Monrovia, California) reported progress in its deployment of a direct U.S. sales force for the company’s Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) and in the retention of sales representatives for its cataract products.

The company also said it has taken actions intended to produce $1.5 million in annual savings in its U.S. operations.

Deborah Andrews, CFO, said that besides the actions already taken to produce savings, “We plan to continue to explore additional opportunities to drive down costs and maximize existing cash resources as we execute our sales and marketing plan focused on delivering meaningful top-line growth.”

She said that an update on these efforts will be given’ during Staar’s 3Q07 conference call.

“In early August we outlined our strategy to create a separate direct refractive sales team in the U.S. for our Visian ICL comprised of proctoring specialists and practice development specialists led by regionally based refractive sales managers,” said David Bailey, president/CEO of Staar. “To date, we have successfully recruited a seasoned staff of 15 people out of our total target group of 18. In addition, we modified the structure of our cataract sales force in the U.S., moving to a more focused effort led by three regional managers.”

He said that most of the independent territory representatives in two regions previously managed under the company’s recently expired Regional Manufactuer’s Representative contracts, are staying with the company. “This group,” said Bailey, “will focus on selling our cataract products, while the refractive teams will manage the very different demands of building a market for the ICL, including the intensive long-term follow-up necessary to assist refractive customers in integrating the ICL into their practices.”

The revamped sales organization will be ready to take the field by the end of October and will “be ready for a strong showing” at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (San Francisco) in New Orleans Nov. 10-13.

Staar’s Visian ICL is a tiny, flexible lens implanted to correct refractive errors. Manufactured in Switzerland, the ICL is FDA-approved for use in treating myopia, is CE-marked, and the company says that over 85,000 have been sold in over 40 countries.

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