YOQNEAM, Israel, Nov. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Given Imaging (Nasdaq:GIVN), a world leader in specialty GI products and pioneer of capsule endoscopy, today announced that Japan's Central Social Insurance Medical Council (Chuikyo) has approved the recommendation by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) to provide reimbursement for Given Imaging's PillCam COLON. With this approval, Chuikyo established a reimbursement of 83,100 JPY, or roughly $840.00 USD (using current exchange rate), per capsule that is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014. This decision follows regulatory clearance of PillCam COLON in July of this year by Japan's Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Agency (PMDA). The MHLW will determine the final indication for use for PillCam COLON in December as well as the amount for the professional fee.
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"We thank the Japanese government for moving so quickly to provide reimbursement for PillCam COLON so that more patients can have access to a safe and effective diagnostic and screening tool for detecting diseases of the colon," said Homi Shamir, President and CEO, Given Imaging. "We are training our team now so that we can maximize this opportunity in 2014."Screening guidelines in Japan call for everyone over 40 to undergo a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). Compliance with screening remains low and only 27% of the population actually gets tested. 1 After a physician identifies blood in a patient's stool, which can be a strong indication of colon cancer or other diseases, only 58% of these patients proceed to have a recommended colonoscopy to confirm the diagnosis due to a variety of reasons. 2 PillCam COLON's ease of use and minimally-invasive profile could appeal to those patients. About Given Imaging Ltd. Since pioneering the field of capsule endoscopy in 2001, Given Imaging has become a world leader in GI medical devices, offering health care providers a range of innovative options for visualizing, diagnosing and monitoring the digestive system. The company offers a broad product portfolio including PillCam ® capsule endoscope for the small bowel, esophagus and colon. The company also offers industry-leading GI functional diagnostic solutions including ManoScan ® high resolution manometry, Bravo ® capsule-based pH monitoring, Digitrapper ® pH-Z monitoring, and SmartPill ® motility monitoring systems. Given Imaging is committed to delivering breakthrough innovations to the GI community and supporting its ongoing clinical needs. Given Imaging's headquarters are located in Yoqneam, Israel, with operating subsidiaries in the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Brazil. For more information, please visit givenimaging.com. Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, projections about our business and our future revenues, expenses and profitability. Forward-looking statements may be, but are not necessarily, identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "anticipates," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," and words and terms of similar substance. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual events, results, performance, circumstances or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future events, results, performance, circumstances or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements relating to the Company exploring strategic alternatives and considering possible strategic transactions involving the Company. Factors that could cause actual events, results, performance, circumstances or achievements to differ from such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) our ability to develop and bring to market new products, (2) our ability to successfully complete any necessary or required clinical studies with our products, (3) our ability to receive regulatory clearance or approval to market our products or changes in regulatory environment, (4) our success in implementing our sales, marketing and manufacturing plans, (5) the level of adoption of our products by medical practitioners, (6) the emergence of other products that may make our products obsolete, (7) lack of an appropriate bowel preparation materials to be used with our PillCam COLON capsule, (8) protection and validity of patents and other intellectual property rights, (9) the impact of currency exchange rates, (10) the effect of competition by other companies, (11) the outcome of significant litigation, (12) our ability to obtain reimbursement for our product from government and commercial payors, (13) quarterly variations in operating results, (14) the possibility of armed conflict or civil or military unrest in Israel, (15) the impact of global economic conditions, (16) our ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses, (17) changes and reforms in applicable healthcare laws and regulations, (18) quality issues and adverse events related to our products, such as capsule retention, aspiration and failure to attach or detach, bleeding or perforation that could require us to recall products and impact our sales and net income, and (19) other risks and factors disclosed in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, risks and factors identified under such headings as "Risk Factors," "Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Operating Results and Financial Review and Prospects" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2012. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except to the extent expressly required under applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements, to report events or to report the occurrence of unanticipated events.