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Contacts: Amy Samaha Bayer Diagnostics 914.366.1815

Jocelyn Serio-Miller
Chandler Chicco

ASCENSIA Dream Fund Winner Launches Search for Teens WITH DIABETES to CONQUER SCUBA DIVING

Teens Challenged to 'Dream Big' and Dive Deep Application Deadline is April 19th

Tarrytown, New York, March 15, 2004 -- Teens with diabetes are being offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a place at the first ever 'Dream Big' SCUBA camp in the U.S. Virgin Islands, thanks to the first winner of The Ascensia Dream Fund* contest, Colleen McCarthy LaPierre.

The Ascensia Dream Fund*, an annual contest established by the Diagnostics Division of Bayer HealthCare LLC for people with diabetes who self-monitor, helped McCarthy LaPierre achieve an extraordinary personal goal: to establish a 19-day challenge-based SCUBA camp for teens with diabetes called 'Dream Big'.

Teens ages 16 and 17 with Type 1 diabetes, who meet the health requirements outlined in the rules of entry, are invited to submit a 500-1,000 word essay explaining what winning a place at 'Dream Big' would mean to them, and how their dedication to diabetes management keeps them in control of their life. The deadline is April 19th, 2004.

"Being selected by Bayer Diagnostics as the 2003 winner of The Ascensia Dream Fund contest has made a significant difference in my life," said McCarthy LaPierre. "It now enables me to show young people with diabetes that through active self-management, including diligent monitoring and proper diet and exercise, they can take control of their lives and achieve anything."

In mid-July, the eight winning teens will undertake rigorous training, beginning in Shelter Island, New York, to become SCUBA certified and learn vital information about fitness and meal planning. The culmination of the camp in St. John, V.I., will put their new found skills to the test as they conquer challenging SCUBA dives of up to 60 feet while intensely managing their diabetes to help them achieve this physical personal challenge.

Always vital to diabetes care, proper self-monitoring of blood sugar levels is especially critical for those participating in challenging physical activities. "The logistics of keeping one's blood sugar in check before and after a dive and altering a diabetes treatment plan to accommodate the physical demands of SCUBA diving is a lot to ask of anyone - especially a young adult," said McCarthy LaPierre.

Blood glucose monitoring will likely occur 10-15 times every day for each 'Dream Big' camper. Bayer Diagnostics will provide its latest meter, The Ascensia* CONTOUR* System, to 'Dream Big' campers and staff. In addition, 'Dream Big' will follow all safe diving-with-diabetes protocols, which include a rigorous health screening prior to the camp and strict blood glucose monitoring before and after each dive and throughout every day of the adventure.

"Colleen embodies the motivation and generosity that is The Ascensia Dream Fund. We are proud that through her, many more young men and women will take charge and live their lives to the fullest," said Joe Malta, vice-president of sales and marketing, Self-Test Business, Bayer HealthCare LLC, Diagnostics Division.

'Dream Big' will be implemented in conjunction with The Barton Center for Diabetes Education, Inc. (, a non-profit organization located in North Oxford, Massachusetts, where McCarthy LaPierre is Director of Programs. Trained SCUBA instructors and medical professionals will accompany the teens through all stages of the adventure to ensure a safe and educational environment.

'Dream Big' entry forms and official rules can be obtained on the Web at (click on the 'Dream Big' link, and follow "How to Apply"), by calling 508-987-2056, or by writing to The Barton Center for Diabetes Education 'Dream Big' Rules, PO Box 356 North Oxford, MA 01537. Requests for information by mail must be received by The Barton Center by April 1, 2004. The closing date for the contest is April 19, 2004.

The Ascensia Dream Fund® contest was established to provide support and recognition to people with diabetes for whom self-monitoring is a cornerstone of their diabetes management. People with diabetes in the U.S., 18 and older, can request an application for The Ascensia Dream Fund* at or by calling toll-free 800.332.3210. See the official rules for complete details.

About Us Ascensia®
Ascensia means to 'ascend and achieve.' The complete range of Ascensia diabetes care products and services will be designed to help people with diabetes do just that -- rise above their disease to experience life's many possibilities. This unique approach is called Your Life. Your Way. and reflects Bayer Diagnostics' dedication to the principle that Ascensia products and services will help people define their lives in terms of their goals and achievements -- not their diabetes.

About Bayer Diagnostics

With approximately 7,000 employees worldwide and 2002 sales of $1.9 billion, Bayer Diagnostics (, based in Tarrytown, New York, U.S.A., is one of the largest diagnostic businesses in the world. The organization supports customers in 100 countries through an extensive portfolio of central, self-testing, nucleic acid and near patient care diagnostics systems and services for use in the assessment and management of health, including the areas of cardiovascular and kidney disease, oncology, virology, women's health and diabetes. Bayer Diagnostics' global headquarters in the United States operates as part of Bayer HealthCare LLC a member of the worldwide Bayer HealthCare group.

About Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare AG, a subgroup of Bayer AG with sales of approximately 9.4 billion Euro in 2002, is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the health care and medical products industry.

The company combines the global activities of the divisions Animal Health, Biological Products, Consumer Care, Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals. More than 34,000 people are employed by Bayer HealthCare worldwide.

Our aim is to discover and manufacture innovative products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Our products enhance well-being and quality of life by diagnosing, preventing and treating disease.

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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