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BREEZE blood glucose monitoring system from Bayer HealthCare is first to receive ease-of-use commendation by arthritis foundation


Ascensia BREEZE meets the demands of diabetics with arthritis.

Leverkusen – Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care, a division of Bayer HealthCare LLC and a member of the Bayer Group (NYSE: BAY), today announced that its Ascensia® BREEZE® Blood Glucose Monitoring System has received Ease-of-Use Commendation and a product seal from the Arthritis Foundation. Breeze is the first blood glucose meter to be recognized by the Arthritis Foundation for a design that is user friendly for the more than eight million Americans with arthritis who also have diabetes.1 The Ease-Of-Use Commendation followed thorough review and testing by an independent panel of individuals with arthritis.

“By reducing stress on body parts, such as hands and fingers, easy-to-use products can help people cope with limited movement and the pain of arthritis,” said Dr. John H. Klippel, president and chief executive officer of the Arthritis Foundation.

The Ascensia BREEZE meter features an easy-to-load disc that contains ten individual test strips. This system eliminates the need to handle individual strips and manually code each disc. The shape of the monitor allows for easy grip, and its large display makes test results easy to read. The system’s single-function buttons are easy to use and understand. As with all Ascensia meters, the BREEZE has been cleared for multiple site testing in the finger, forearm, palm, abdomen or thigh, giving patients more choice and flexibility.

“It is absolutely critical for all persons with diabetes to be able to manage their glucose levels daily,” said Dr. Steven Edelman, Professor of Medicine, division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of California, San Diego, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and founder of TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR DIABETES (

Diabetes and Arthritis
“Arthritis is one of the most common co-existing conditions we see in diabetic patients and, when uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, diabetic neuropathy, amputations, kidney failure and blindness”, added Dr. Edelman.

According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures, there are 14.6 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes.2 Together with an estimated 6.2 million undiagnosed cases, the same CDC statistics put the overall number of Americans with diabetes at 20.8 million, or 7% of the population.

Osteoarthritis, a joint disorder characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage, is the most common form of arthritis and affects an estimated 21 million adult Americans3. In a recent online survey of 501 osteoarthritis patients, 49.7% said the condition affects their hands and fingers, while 30.1% indicated they have osteoarthritis in their wrists4. Of the 112 survey participants who also had diabetes, 84.9% responded they test their blood sugar themselves with a glucose monitor.

Arthritis is the greatest contributor to limitations in mobility and dexterity, the largest category of functional limitations. According to the Telecommunications Industry Association5, “For individuals with arthritis, controls that require pinching or rotating are difficult to operate. In addition, individuals who are functionally limited are unable to exert as much force on controls as individuals without functional limitations. Individuals with poor muscle control may find it difficult to make fine motor movements with their fingers and may be restricted to gross movements with their hand(s).”

Ease-of-Use Commendation Program
The Arthritis Foundation created the Ease-of-Use Commendation program to encourage manufacturers to design user-friendly products and packaging that could be recommended to millions of people with arthritis.

Manufacturers submit their product(s) for testing by an independent lab experienced in the design and evaluation of products that are accessible to people with functional limitations due to the effects of arthritis. Ease-of-Use products, which carry a special logo from the Foundation, have received a favorable review by an independent panel of people with arthritis and health professionals.

Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the only nationwide, not-for-profit health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis by leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases -- the nation’s number one cause of disability. For free information, contact the Arthritis Foundation at 800-568-4045 or on the Web at

Bayer HealthCare
Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the health care and medical products industry based in Leverkusen/Germany. In 2005, the Bayer HealthCare subgroup generated sales amounting to some 9.4 billion Euro. Bayer HealthCare employed 33.800 people worldwide in 2005.

The company combines the global activities of the divisions Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals. Since January 1, 2006 the new Pharmaceutical Division consists of the former Biological Products and Pharmaceutical Division and now comprises three business units: Hematology/Cardiology, Oncology and Primary Care.

Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. The products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

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Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our public reports filed with the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F).The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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1) Roper Global Diabetes Program: 2005 US Diabetes Patient Market Study
2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2005
3) American College of Rheumatology, Arthritis & Rheumatism (ISO Abbreviation: Arthritis Rheum): 1999;41(5):778–799
4) HCD Research Inc: Osteoarthritis Patient Survey, conducted between November 2005 and December 2005
5) Telecommunications TIA ACCESS 1996. Resource Guide for Accessible Design of Consumer Electronics: Linking Product Design to the Needs of People with Functional Limitations.


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