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Positive Statement by Self-Governing Committees on Fine Diagnosis with Radio-Pharmaceutical Products - Eckert & Ziegler Subsidiary to Profit

Berlin, 29 December 2005. The central self-governing committee of physicians, health insur-ance companies and hospitals for the introduction of new medical treatment methods in Germany, the Joint National Committee, has for the first time made a positive statement a-bout the process known as positron emission tomography (PET). This imaging procedure, in which traces of weakly radioactive glucose are used as a kind of contrast medium, permits such illnesses as cancer and Alzheimer's to be recognized considerably earlier, more comprehensively and more precisely than by conventional means. The effectiveness of the treatment can thus be greatly increased. Eckert & Ziegler, a specialist for isotope-technological applications in medicine (ISIN DE 0005659700), will also profit from the spread of this procedure: through its Wiesbaden subsidiary FCD, it is the German market leader for preparations for PET examinations.

In other industrial countries, positron emission tomography has become well established over a number of years, particularly for cancer therapy where it is used to find concealed cancerous sites scatted throughout the body or to prevent recidivism. In the USA for example, approximately a million examinations per year are carried out, and some $200 million worth of radioactive contrast media are sold. In Germany on the other hand, there is still a considerable lag with regard to recognition of the procedure and its adoption into the billing catalo-gues of the legally mandated health insurance companies. With the statement by the Joint National Committee to the effect that the procedure is "sufficient, useful and economical" under the criteria of the Social Statute Book, a broad application of the procedure is to be expected in this country as well over the medium term.

The decision of the Joint National Committee to the effect that that PET would "remain" a service provided by the legally mandated health insurance companies may sound somewhat obscure to outsiders (http://www.g-ba.de/cms/upload/pdf/abs7/beschluesse/2005-12-20-khb-PET-NSCLC_WZ.pdf). It refers to the "ban reservation" for hospitals, which permits all treatment innovations which have not been explicitly banned. Since numerous hospitals, especially university hospitals, have already been operating PET equipment for years, despite the lack of any statement from the appropriate committees on the procedure, this approval from the Joint National Committee means confirmation of their practice, and a further step toward recognition of this tried and true method, for the outpatient area as well.

The Board of Directors