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 LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- BOC Health Care announced today that it has completed the initial phase of the global unification of its Ohmeda, Anaquest and Viggo-Spectramed businesses under the Ohmeda name, strengthening the company's position as a world leader in anesthetic pharmaceuticals, delivery and monitoring systems, and critical care products.
 "The demand for cost-effective, high-quality health care products has never been greater," said Roger Stoll, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Ohmeda. "Health care companies must become more efficient in a market where cost constraints are a reality. By joining together our businesses, the new Ohmeda is designed to achieve the efficiencies needed in today's health care market and to offer cost- effective products and services that improve our customers' ability to provide quality health care. At the same time, the goal of the three companies that now make up the new Ohmeda is and has always been the same: dedicated to anesthesia and critical care."
 The global unification of the new Ohmeda's $800 million health care business will improve the company's ability to identify opportunities for new product development and generate high-quality products that address the specific needs of Ohmeda customers worldwide.
 The development of Suprane(R) (desflurane), which involved both the Ohmeda Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Systems divisions, exemplifies the benefits the Ohmeda unification will offer. Suprane is the newest inhalation anesthetic agent to be brought to market in the United States. Because Suprane has a lower boiling point than other available potent inhalation agents, small temperature fluctuations in the operating room make it difficult to regulate delivery of the agent via conventional vaporizers. Ohmeda's Medical Systems Division worked with the Ohmeda Pharmaceutical Products Division to design the Tec 6(TM) Vaporizer, which precisely regulates the temperature and administration of the agent, allowing anesthesiologists to provide the benefits of Suprane to patients safely and easily.
 Suprane is the least soluble potent inhalation agent available today. This low solubility permits depth of anesthesia to be altered quickly and easily, and provides rapid and clear-headed recovery following Suprane anesthesia. The low solubility of Suprane allows lower fresh gas flow rates to be used, providing economy, control and precision in the delivery of anesthesia. The Ohmeda Medical Systems Division also has added specialized capabilities to the Modulus(R) CD-CV Anesthesia System, 5250 Respiratory Gas Monitor and Rascal(R) II Anesthetic Gas Monitor to enable the monitoring of Suprane.
 "Teamwork among Ohmeda divisions is critical to our vision for the future," says Stoll. "Our goal for the late '90s is to establish ourselves as a customer-driven leader in anesthesia and critical care. Accomplishing that goal will require larger collaborative efforts among all our divisions in the areas of customer service, research and development, and new product development."
 The new Ohmeda has a cohesive new product development process in place. Multifunctional product development teams combine the expertise of manufacturing, research and development, marketing, sales, finance, technical service and reliability engineering. The simultaneous development of a product, its manufacturing process and all product- related services ensures that the product is highly valued in the marketplace. The unification of Ohmeda further enhances collaboration among the product development teams of each Ohmeda division.
 New Customer Support Initiatives
 To provide customers with Ohmeda's comprehensive product lines in a simpler, more cost-effective way, the company is reorganizing its sales forces. In the United States, the Ohmeda medical systems and medical devices sales operations have been integrated to increase efficiency and eliminate duplication of services. In most highly populated, metropolitan markets, sales of medical equipment and devices will be handled separately. In less populated areas, a medical systems sales representative will manage all sales of medical equipment and devices. To meet customer needs, pharmaceutical, infant care and medical engineering sales will be handled by specialized representatives.
 Ohmeda also has established a U.S. Customer Support Center where customers can call toll-free for answers to questions about Ohmeda products and services.
 In Europe, Ohmeda has integrated the sales team while maintaining product specialization and has assigned account managers to key customers. This new structure is supported by local marketing groups and is designed to enable Ohmeda to better meet the current and future needs of customers. Ohmeda is consolidating its international distribution operations with direct sales organizations in many European countries, as well as Japan and Australia. Other markets, where Ohmeda does not have direct sales organizations, are served by operations that manage the company's distribution partners. Each region has offices where customers can call for assistance with sales and service questions.
 Systematic Listening
 Another new customer-driven program by Ohmeda is Systematic Listening, which continually evaluates customer satisfaction and determines areas of product innovation by means of one-on-one service visits by Ohmeda managers and follow-up performance evaluation surveys. For example, Systematic Listening was used to review customer feedback from a survey on the Modulus CD Anesthesia System. Ohmeda brought together anesthesiologists and biomedical engineers from across the United States, and Ohmeda marketing, engineering, service and manufacturing employees to review customer response and discuss product modifications. Software changes and upgrades were then promptly instituted to meet customer needs.
 At the suggestion and with the assistance of an Ohmeda customer, the Safedraw(TM) blood sampling system was developed to facilitate blood sampling from arterial pressure lines while minimizing the chance of needle sticks and blood exposure for health care workers. A team of Ohmeda clinicians, biomedical engineers, manufacturing engineers and marketing professionals joined forces with the customer to create Safedraw, a closed-loop arterial blood sampling system.
 The New Ohmeda
 Ohmeda is the health care business of The BOC Group, a $5.2 billion, U.K.-based company which is a worldwide leader in industrial gases, vacuum technologies and distribution services. Ohmeda, headquartered in Liberty Corner, employs approximately 6,000 people in 30 countries and has annual revenues of $800 million.
 -0- 11/12/93
 /CONTACT: Judee Shuler of Ohmeda, 908-771-4769, or Sherry Pudloski of Wang Associates Health Communications, 212-685-1900, for Ohmeda/

CO: BOC Health Care; Ohmeda; Anaquest; Viggo-Spectramed ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU:

TW -- NY008 -- 1085 10/12/93 12:16 EDT
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Date:Oct 12, 1993

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