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Bayer HealthCare Expands Diabetes Care Business in China and South Korea


Great need for better health care in Asia.

Friday - June 16, 2006, Leverkusen – Bayer HealthCare AG has expanded its business activities in the growth markets of Asia by launching the Breeze® and Brio® blood glucose management systems in China and in South Korea. Parallel to the product launches, the Bayer AG subgroup is conducting comprehensive information campaigns in both countries to educate people about the value of better diabetes management through rigorous blood glucose monitoring, diet, exercise, and medication.

“There is a great need for information and solutions for better diabetes management in many countries in Asia,” said Sandra Peterson, President, Diabetes Care at Bayer HealthCare. “Bayer is in a strong position, being the first in the world to market home blood glucose monitoring systems, as one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in China, and as a key diabetes company amongst patients and health care providers in Asia. With the Breeze and Brio blood glucose monitoring systems, Bayer HealthCare offers one of the most comprehensive range of products for diabetes patients in these markets.” The International Diabetes Federation expects a significant increase in new cases of the disease in Asia, with estimates predicting that the number of persons with diabetes will more than double by 2025 in the region.

In China, diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases. According to current estimates, approximately 40 million of the country’s 1.3 billion inhabitants suffer from the metabolic disorder. Experts believe that 60-65 percent of those affected are not yet aware they have the disease. At present, just fewer than four million people are receiving treatment in China. Only two percent of the Chinese patients with diabetes own a blood glucose meter for regular monitoring of their blood glucose level.

This month, in Beijing, China, Bayer HealthCare launched the first of several Bayer Diabetes Houses planned for that country. Bayer HealthCare has partnered with local community hospitals to establish the Diabetes Houses where patients can receive comprehensive diabetes care and disease management information as well access to the Breeze and Brio blood glucose monitoring systems. The Diabetes Houses will serve as a central point of information where anyone from the local community can learn more about the disease, how to manage it, including adapting one’s lifestyle, and how to avoid the complications associated with diabetes. Beyond Beijing, additional Diabetes Houses are planned for Shanghai and Guangzhou which are all areas of high diabetes incidence.

Diabetes is also widespread in Korea, with more than two million people suffering from the disease in South Korea alone. Bayer is establishing the Bayer Dream Fund™ program in Korea to coincide with the launch of the Breeze blood glucose monitoring system. The Bayer Dream Fund is an annual contest designed to encourage people with diabetes to achieve their dreams. Through Bayer Dream Fund initiatives, Bayer Diabetes Care will provide information and education on the disease. Bayer Dream Fund programs are already underway in the United States, Canada and Europe. Korea is the first country in Asia to launch the program.

Blood glucose self-monitoring at home is already widespread in Europe and North America. Blood glucose management systems from Bayer HealthCare are well established in these regions.

If left untreated, diabetes is a serious chronic and often fatal disease. A high blood glucose level can lead to secondary vascular diseases such as cardiac and kidney disorders, and/or blindness and amputations. Onset of these complications can be delayed, and their severity reduced, if patients are able to manage a rigorous regimen of medication, monitoring, diet, and exercise.

The Bayer HealthCare blood glucose monitoring systems are easy to use. A small drop of blood is all that is needed to attain reliable values within seconds. The Breeze device now introduced in China and South Korea uses a disc that contains ten test strips. Once the disc has been inserted into the device, the patient can take ten measurements without needing to reload individual strips. The device does not need to be coded with every new lot of strips, eliminating a major source of error and making it convenient for patients to test with fewer steps involved. The Brio device which Bayer HealthCare has introduced in South Korea and China is successful due to its simple operation, and wide strips that are more convenient than tiny strips to hold for some patients and for bed-side use in hospitals to avoid cross-contamination.

About Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care
Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Division is one of the largest self-test diagnostic businesses in the world, supporting customers in 100 countries. Since the introduction of Clinitest® reagent tablets in 1941, Bayer has led the way in diabetes care product innovation. The company changed the face of diabetes care in 1969 when it introduced the first portable blood glucose meter and strips. Bayer HealthCare further innovated diabetes self-management by being the first company to introduce a suite of blood glucose monitors that do not require coding. The Bayer portfolio of systems offers people with diabetes unparalleled choice in blood glucose monitoring systems.

Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Division global headquarters is located in Tarrytown, New York, in the United States and operates as part of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a member of the worldwide Bayer HealthCare group.

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.

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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