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Visiomed secures pharmacy distribution deal

Visiomed secures pharmacy distribution deal with three major wholesalers

Australia, 20 September 2005: Visiomed Group Ltd (ASX:VSG) announced today, in conjunction with Crossmark Australia and Cottman Australia, the successful completion of negotiations with the three leading pharmaceutical wholesale distributors in Australia for the distribution of the Funhaler incentive asthma spacer into Australian pharmacies.

Sigma Wholesale (ASX:SIG), Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) and Mayne (ASX:MAY) have agreed to collectively distribute to approximately 5,000 pharmacies in Australia and will include the Funhaler incentive spacer in their offerings to Australian pharmacies.

Visiomed CEO, Dr William Dolphin said: "Inclusion of the Funhaler in the product offerings of Sigma, Mayne and API provides the distribution channel necessary to ensure successful penetration of the Australian market. In the next months the Funhaler will be available to consumers at approximately 90 per cent of pharmacies in Australia."

"Securing this critical distribution channel represents a major milestone for the company and its plans for the commercialisation of the Funhaler(r). Australia, while representing only approximately 1 - 2% of the world asthma market, is an important first step for worldwide distribution of our product," Dr Dolphin added.

There has been great interest in the Funhaler(r) in the international markets and the company has entered into discussion with major distributors in the USA and Europe. The company is increasing its manufacturing capacity to meet the anticipated demand in Australia and overseas markets.

In April 2005 Visiomed contracted the services of Cottman Australia, a subsidiary of Advance Healthcare Group Limited (ASX: AHG), as the exclusive distributor of the Funhaler* in Australia. Since April the Funhaler has been distributed through Cottman's sister company, Pharmeasy, AHG's medication management and pharmacy products home delivery service, and the Asthma Foundations throughout Australia. Visiomed has sold approximately 4,500 Funhaler spacers to date.

Advance CEO, Sam Di-Giacomo, said: "This reinforces the AHG focus on higher margin products with national distribution capability and we are proud to be involved with the Funhaler* product as the early stage partner for this Australian invention"

Visiomed will be attending MEDICA, the world's premier Health and Medical exhibition to be held from 16-19 November in Dusseldorf, Germany 2005 as part of the Austrade Innovation Australia Pavilion.

About Visiomed Group Ltd

Visiomed (www.visiomed.com.au ) develops and commercialises innovative medical technologies for improved medication delivery and adherence in patients suffering from chronic respiratory diseases.

About the Funhaler(r)

The Funhaler(r) is a paediatric incentive spacer for the effective delivery of asthma drugs, developed in Australia. The Funhaler incorporates incentive modules that provide user feedback and assist in developing and maintaining proper inhalation technique. The product was designed to improve adherence by encouraging children to take their asthma medication in accordance with clinical prescriptions. Approximately 14% of Australian children are prescribed asthma medication. Adherence to regular preventer medication in this age group is known to be poor.

Published, peer-reviewed clinical studies have shown that use of the Funhaler(r) increases adherence and delivery of asthma medication; moreover, both children and their parents prefer the Funhaler(r) to other spacers and to the use of asthma medication "puffers" alone. Additional, long term clinical studies involving the Funhaler(r) are currently under way with support of a $1 million grant from the US National Institutes of Health.

The Funhaler(r) is covered by international patents issued and pending. This coverage already extends to protection of a wide range of alternative incentive modules and complimentary applications.

About Sigma Company Limited

Sigma Company Limited (ASX:SIG) is a distributor, manufacturer and retailer of pharmaceuticals. The Retail Healthcare division provides retail support services including marketing to pharmacies under the Amcal, Herron and Guardian banners and distributes prescription drugs and OTC products to 4,000 pharmacies.

About Mayne Group Limited

Mayne Group Limited (ASX:MAY) is an Australian healthcare provider, pharmaceuticals developer and distributor of pharmaceutical and over the counter products to retail pharmacies across Australia. The company operations span across Australia, the Pacific Regions, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Its leading pharmacy retail banners include Terry White Chemists(r) and Chemmart(r).

About Australian Pharmaceutical Industries

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API) operates four core businesses: pharmaceutical distribution, manufacturing, retail pharmacy brands, and hospital and medical distribution. API distributes its products to over 3,500 pharmacies.

About Advance Healthcare Group Limited

Advance Healthcare Group Limited (ASX: AHG) continues to develop its innovative national approach to medication management and supply home delivery service, the Pharmeasy* direct to consumer pharmaceutical health wellbeing and beauty business together with its pharmaceutical and medical surgical distribution business, Cottman Australia (turnover in excess of $100 million).

- ENDS -


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