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FDA's OK Lets Bausch & Lomb Join Eye-Laser Price War

The company said it would start marketing the laser right away.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved

Bausch & Lomb's


Technolas 217 Excimer Laser System, bringing another corrective eye surgery laser machine into a highly competitive market currently engaged in a price war.

Bausch & Lomb said it would immediately begin marketing Technolas 217 in the U.S., selling the laser at a list price of $525,000 per unit. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company will collect a fee of $100 per procedure from doctors using the technology.

Bausch & Lomb's announcement comes on the heels of an industrywide price war that has heated up as U.S. manufacturers of corrective laser technologies have slashed their prices.

On Thursday, the

Wall Street Journal

reported that

TheStreet Recommends

Summit Technology


said it would lower royalty fees it charges doctors for each use to $100 from $250 for some of its machines. That decision came after



announced a similar price cut earlier this week.



intends to charge about $130 for its system, the paper said.

News of price cuts have sent laser-equipment makers' shares downward. On Wednesday, VISX fell 5 9/16 to 16 5/16, Summit dropped 4 1/4 to 7 13/16, LaserSight was off 1 25/32 to 9 23/32 and Bausch & Lomb shed 1 1/2 to close at 58 1/2. On Thursday, VISX closed up 2 3/8, or 15%, 18 3/4; Summit finished up 3/16, or 2.4%, at 8; LaserSight closed up 1/32 at 9 3/4; and Bausch & Lomb finished up 11/16, or 1.2%, 59 3/16.