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Covidien Announces Latest Advance In “Unite to Treat Sleep Apnea” Initiative

October 21, 2008

Covidien (NYSE: COV, BSX: COV), a leading global healthcare products company, today announced the launch of Sandman Alliance(SM), a first-of-its-kind sleep therapy management program. The Sandman Alliance program is the latest addition to Covidien’s “Unite to Treat Sleep Apnea” initiative to improve the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

The Sandman Alliance program unites patients, sleep clinicians and home care providers in their efforts to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders. The patient compliance program provides education, support and encouragement to OSA patients to enhance treatment compliance through personal coaching and empowerment. The program links a sleep counselor with each patient to document progress and track the patient’s therapy using a web interface, which provides a common area for the patient’s sleep physician to log in and monitor the patient’s performance under the program. To support this offering and facilitate its delivery, Covidien has partnered with Assist Management, Inc.

Globally, less than 50 percent of OSA patients recommended for continuous positive airway pressure treatment continue their therapy beyond the first week, and up to 25 percent of remaining patients can be expected to discontinue CPAP use within three years.(1)

“One of the biggest problems with sleep therapy is getting patients to comply with their treatment plans,” says Kevin Mongonia, President of Assist Management. According to Assist Management’s internal data, patients enrolled in the Sandman Alliance program comply 82 percent of the time, up from less than 50 percent compliance for OSA patients recommended for treatment. “The Sandman Alliance program helps OSA patients remain committed to their CPAP therapy,” he said.

“Patient adherence to therapy is critical to realizing the full potential health benefits to CPAP treatment,” said Dr. Veronique Grillier-Lanoir, Global Medical Affairs Director for Sleep and Oxygen, Covidien. “This support program, in conjunction with a comprehensive offering of innovative sleep therapy and diagnostics products, demonstrates Covidien’s dedication to improving patient outcomes.”

CPAP therapy effectiveness is associated with dramatic improvements in morbidity and mortality(2) in patients with moderate to severe OSA. It has also been shown that interventions that reinforce patient use are important early after the introduction of CPAP therapy(3) and have made substantial improvements in adherence.(4)

New Medicare coverage guidelines for CPAP therapy for the treatment of OSA state that in order for CPAP treatment to be covered for more than three months of therapy, the treating physician must conduct a clinical evaluation. The evaluation should demonstrate that the beneficiary benefits from CPAP therapy as shown by objective evidence of adherence to CPAP use. The Sandman Alliance program provides the adherence reports necessary for the treating physician to effectively document that symptoms of OSA are improved and that the patient adheres to the CPAP device use.

Earlier this year, Covidien launched a new trio of CPAP devices, the Sandman Intro(TM), the Sandman Info(TM) and the Sandman Auto(TM) based on input from sleep professionals, patients and their families.

About Covidien

Covidien is a leading global healthcare products company that creates innovative medical solutions for better patient outcomes and delivers value through clinical leadership and excellence. Covidien manufactures, distributes and services a diverse range of industry-leading product lines in four segments: Medical Devices, Imaging Solutions, Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Supplies. With 2007 revenue of nearly $9 billion, Covidien has more than 42,000 employees worldwide in 57 countries, and its products are sold in over 130 countries. Please visit www.covidien.com to learn more about our business.

About Assist Management

Assist Management, Inc. is a privately-held company located in Indianapolis, Ind. Dedicated to a vision of being a leader in the facilitation and creation of business, management and healthcare solutions, Assist Management has made it a mission to deliver innovative products and services to advance and sustain the viability and integrity of healthcare providers and the industry in which they serve. Please visit www.assistmanagement.com to learn more.

(1) Engleman HM & Wild MR. Improving CPAP use by patients with the sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (SAHS). Sleep Med Rev. 2003;7(1):81-99.

(2) Marin JM, Carrizo SJ, Vicente E, Agusti AGN. Long-term cardiovascular outcomes in men with obstructive sleep apnoea-hypopnoea with or without treatment with continuous positive airway pressure: an observational study. Lancet 2005;365:1046-1053

(3) Hoy CJ, Vennelle M, Kingshott RN, et al: Can intensive support improve continuous positive airway pressure use in patients with the sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome? Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1999;159:1096-1100

(4) Krieger J, Sforza E, Weiss T. Simplified diagnostic procedure for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: lower subsequent compliance with CPAP. Eur Respir J 1998; 12:776-779




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