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Healthcare Reforms and Cost Containment Measures Impact Contrast Media Markets.

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 26, 1996--The dynamism of the European contrast media market has slowed down in previous years, and this trend is expected to continue due to the increasing maturity of the market.

But some segments, such as the MRI and the emerging ultrasound contrast media markets, expected to revolutionize the contrast media market, provide satisfactory growth opportunities.

According to a report by international marketing consultant Frost & Sullivan, some of the less mature markets in Europe are still in a "catching up" phase and offer good growth potential, although the generally severe cost containment measures and budget restrictions all over Europe limit this potential.

Despite the outstanding growth projections for several national markets, it has to be kept in mind that the two largest European contrast media markets, Germany and France, account for more than 50 percent of the overall market. Thus, significant economies of scale and scope will only be gained when focusing on the largest, and most mature, European markets.

Consequently, market expansion can only be sustained by the introduction of new, improved products in line with continuing technological innovation. Continuous research in order to improve imaging and to obtain better tissue contrast has led to significant improvements both in hard and software of diagnostic imaging, as well as to new contrast media.

According to Ms. Debra Yetman, research manager at Frost & Sullivan, revenues for the total European contrast media market is set to increase from US$750.9 million in 1995 to US$1,112.0 million by the end of the study period, the year 2002. The largest product segment remains the X-ray contrast media sector, estimated to have been worth US$672.4 million in 1995, followed by the MRI segment and the newly established ultrasound segment, valued at US$69.5 million and US$9 million the same year.

The European X-ray contrast media market continues to convert from ionic to non-ionic X-ray agents. Both MRI contrast agents and ultrasound products provide higher growth across Europe than X-ray contrast agents. The ultrasound contrast media market is expected to induce significant structural changes within the radiology sector.

However, the receptivity and opportunities for these still young, innovative and promising segments differ from one European country to the next. The six key players dominating the European contrast media market are Schering, Nycomed, Guerbet, Byk Gulden, Mallinckrodt and Bracco.

These companies have different competitive edges in different regions of the European market, but are the only significant competitors in the current European marketplace. The major restriction on manufacturers is financial pressure exerted on healthcare by reforms. Price fixing and rigorous reimbursement rules affect companies' price setting and marketing strategies, often leaving little room for maneuvering.

Companies participating in this market include: Apolab OY, Asta Medica AG, Astra Tech AB, Bracco SpA, Byk Gulden Lomberg Chemische Fabrik GmbH, SA Codali NV, Dr Franz Koehler Chemie GmbH, Gerot Pharmazeutika, Gothia Medical Lkemedel AB, Guerbet SA, Hafslund Nycomed, Laboratorios Pharma Rovi SA, Mallinckrodt Group Inc., Martins & Fernandes, Merck Ltd , Partner Farma, and Schering AG.

Frost & Sullivan is an international marketing consulting company that monitors the biotech & pharmaceutical diagnostics industry for market trends, market measurements, and strategies. This ongoing research is utilized to update a series of research publications and to support industry participants with customized consulting needs. Free executive summaries of all Frost & Sullivan reports are available to the press.

Code: 3261-53 Publication Date: March 1996 Price: $3950 -0-

For inquiries in the United States, please contact: Russ Pecoraro California 415.961.9000 ext. 488 415.961.5042 fax rpecoraro@frost.com Or, visit our web site at: http://www.frost.com

For all other inquiries, please contact: Kristina Menzefricke Stefan Gerhardt London Frankfurt 44.171.730.3438 49.69.235057 44.171.730.3343 49.69.234566 -0-

CONTACT: Frost & Sullivan

Russ Pecoraro, 415/961-9000 ext. 488

rpecoraro@frost.com

http://www.frost.com

or

Kristina Menzefricke, 44/171-730-3438 (London)

Stefan Gerhardt, 49/69-235057 (Frankfurt)
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Date:Nov 26, 1996
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