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          ORTHORX IN THE NEWS

 

Orthofix Announces Ferrer Freeman & Co. as its New Partner in the 50/50 Joint Venture OrthoRx™, Replacing HealthSouth

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (July 1, 2003) - PRNewswire-FirstCall -- Orthofix International (Nasdaq: OFIX - News) announced today that Greenwich, CT. - based Ferrer Freeman & Co. has purchased 100 percent of HealthSouth's shares in OrthoRx™, thus making Ferrer Freeman & Co. Orthofix's new partner in the OrthoRx 50/50 joint venture, which was established in 2001 to serve the fragmented and underserved orthopedic DME (Durable Medical Equipment) market.

"OrthoRx is a novel, single-source distribution model that is bringing, for the first time, a 'one-stop-shopping' benefit to patients referred by orthopedic physicians that captures 100 percent of these patients' product needs, both pre- and post-surgery, with a service platform that consistently delivers training and education to them," said Janet L. Carbary, Chief Financial Officer for OrthoRx. "This has been a year of solid progress for OrthoRx. We have expanded the number of physician groups that are utilizing our services in each of the nine markets we have entered to date, which is driving revenue growth per plan. We are also rapidly increasing our base of contracts with third-party payers, which directly impacts our ability to service more patients and manage collections," added Carbary.

"We believe that OrthoRx will be a very synergistic partnership between Ferrer Freeman and Orthofix," said Charles W. Federico, Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Orthofix. "We believe OrthoRx to be a very interesting early-stage company that is creating a whole new full-service distribution model for orthopedics, which is urgently needed in this extremely fragmented marketplace," said Federico.

"We are literally revolutionizing the way patients undergo the surgical process by putting patients directly in the 'driver's seat' regarding their medical care," explained J. Scott Jones, Colorado Area Manager for OrthoRx. "Prior to the establishment of OrthoRx, a patient was on his or her own relative to product education and reimbursement. Now, we pre-operatively educate patients according to a physician's protocol, handle reimbursement billing, make ourselves available 24/7 to patients, and we thrive on superior customer service," said Jones.

OrthoRx is headquartered in Plano, TX., where the business centrally facilitates insurance authorization, manages product procurement, and oversees billing, which allows individual patient-service centers 'in the field', staffed with trained professionals, to focus on providing patient education and training to patients about the use of the products ordered for them by their physician. The OrthoRx business model is built around procedure-specific product protocols for each physician that specify the products recommended for each patient. OrthoRx is 'manufacturer-neutral', which assures that the product requested by the physician is the exact product provided to the patient. Until the OrthoRx joint venture, there has been no nationally organized entity capable of fulfilling rehabilitative equipment prescriptions for the 27,000 orthopedic surgeons across the U.S.

Ferrer Freeman & Co. (FFC) is a private equity firm located in Greenwich, CT., that invests exclusively in health care and health care-related companies. FFC has over $500 million under management.

Orthofix International N.V. is a leading provider of high-value, minimally invasive medical devices for the orthopedic and trauma markets. For more information about Orthofix, please visit www.orthofix.com.

Certain of the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, the acceptance of new products in the market and the impact of competitive products and other risks and uncertainties. These are detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports (including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002, filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), future Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and the Company's quarterly press releases which are available to shareholders and filed with the SEC on Form 8-K).

Contacts:
Charles W. Federico, Group President and CEO, Orthofix International, (704) 948-2600.
Susan E. Sweenie, Account Executive, Ronald Trahan Associates Inc., (781) 762-9782, x20.