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Bariatric Advantage(TM) Micronutrient Replacement Products Now Available Through Kaiser Permanente Pharmacies

IRVINE, Calif., Jun 14, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Bariatric Advantage line of micronutrient replacement products formulated for weight loss surgery patients, will now available nationwide in Kaiser Permanente pharmacies, announced Tom Kinder, president and chief executive officer of Bariatric Advantage(TM), a wholly owned subsidiary of Catalina Lifesciences, LLC. The company received announcement of the awarded contract with Kaiser Permanente's Pharmacy Division in May 2004. Kaiser Permanente has 600 Pharmacies. Bariatric Advantage products address micronutrient deficiencies related to obesity, morbid obesity and those found in the post-operative surgical patients.

Kinder said that six Bariatric Advantage products will be available throughout Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente is the largest staff model health maintenance organization in the nation with over 8.2 million patients enrolled in ten states at the year-end 2002. "This contract is recognized as the single most sought after H.M.O. contract in the country for our product category," said Kinder. "It will add substantially to our revenue projections beginning late in the summer of 2004."

Bariatric Advantage(TM) will be the preferred micronutrient product replacement line dedicated to the obese and weight loss surgery patients that Kaiser Permanente physicians will have the opportunity to recommend.

Typically, patients seeking obesity surgery have pre-existing micronutrient deficiencies prior to surgical intervention. Post-operatively, they are limited by the surgical procedure due the adjustments made to the gastrointestinal system. The results are that the patients are unable to either consume enough good nutrients from their diets due to the restriction of the size of their stomach or they are not able absorb as many of the nutrients as they need to maintain their health. "Patients start with micronutrient deficiencies prior to surgery and have a difficult time catching up," says Kinder. "It is imperative that patients understand the benefits of proper nutritional supplementation before and after surgery. After all, supplementation is a daily requirement for the remainder of the patient's life." The Bariatric Advantage micronutrient replacement products are designed for easy digestion, and maximum nutrient absorption.

Obesity has now been cited as the leading cause of preventable death ahead of tobacco, with over 30% of US adults over 20 now considered obese, joined by young adults and teens in growing numbers. According to The Surgeon General, the medical cost for illness related to obesity is $117 billion a year. Over 300,000 Americans have undergone obesity surgery since 1986. However over 110,000 patients underwent obesity surgery in 2003 and another 200,000 are expected to have surgery in 2004. The market is expected to continue this rapid growth for the foreseeable future.

Catalina Lifesciences, LLC, is a privately held California company located in Irvine, Calif. The company began the research and development of its first line of products, Bariatric Advantage, in January 2002. The products were fully released into the marketplace in January 2003. A new line of products is scheduled for release this summer.

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