A Medical Device Daily

Two veteran global healthcare marketers with extensive knowledge of the Chinese market have launched JYT Health (Palo Alto, California), a media company that matches global medical device and pharmaceutical marketers with opportunities in that country. JYT stands for Jia Yi Tong, which in Chinese means “Good medicine everywhere.“

Lena Chow, founder of Lena Chow Advertising, a top-50 U.S. healthcare agency, is chairman and CEO, and Dr. Feiyan Shen, a physician by training and former managing director of Euro RSCG Life, China, the country's leading healthcare agency, is president.

JYT Health's China operations are based in Shanghai.

Referring to China as a “unique and complicated market undergoing significant healthcare reform,“ Chow said major trends in that country include the privatization of the health system, expanded insurance coverage and growing consumer expectations for healthcare information and services.

“Our mission,“ she said, “is to be a driving force in helping to achieve the goals of improving healthcare and increasing accountability in the new and evolving healthcare system.“

Chow said JYT Health would collaborate with government and professional associations to create media products that bring best practices in professional development and patient education to China's healthcare system.

The company offers global pharmaceutical and medical device companies sponsorship and advertising opportunities, branded and unbranded custom programs built around JYT's proprietary platforms, and strategic relationships and collaborations.

In May, JYT will launch the Chinese Medical Doctors Association's (CMDA) Leadership Summit 2005 in Beijing. It said the event would bring together a group of Chinese and U.S. healthcare leaders, “to facilitate dialogue and future collaboration.“

The by-invitation meeting will feature representatives from China's top hospitals, government officials and CMDA's leadership. CMDA was inaugurated in 2002 to organize and give the 1.3 million physicians in China a voice in defining the future of healthcare in that country.

JYT Health is working with the Chinese Licensed Pharmacists Association to hold an event similar to the CMDA leadership summit at that group's annual conference in September.

It also is partnering with the Shanghai Health Education Institute to implement novel patient education programs, examples of which are a series of community bulletin boards to reach consumers in high-traffic locations such as bicycle parking areas, as well as a healthcare hotline guidebook for consumers.

Egyptian approval for Avitar products

Avitar (Canton, Massachusetts), developer of the world's first on-site oral test for drugs of abuse, said that the government of Egypt has approved its OralScreen oral fluid-based drug testing products for sale.

“Acceptance by the government of Egypt, a country with a population of over 75 million, demonstrates the tremendous worldwide market potential for saliva-based drug testing products,“ said Pete Phildius, Avitar's CEO. “We're confident that our position as the performance leader in oral-based testing solutions continues to differentiate Avitar from our competitors and play a very important role in our future growth.“

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Trade have approved the sale of Avitar products, including OralScreen disposable tests for illicit drugs, and the company's OSR handheld electronic reader.

Avitar's business partner in Egypt is Egyptian International Company for Environmental Protection (EICEP), a distribution firm with international reach. EICEP has signed an agreement with a reseller in the Middle East with more than 30 sales locations across Egypt and 13 additional offices in additional Arab countries.

DiaSys signs up Chilean distributor

Global diagnostics products firm DiaSys (Waterbury, Connecticut) has entered into an agreement with Galenica, the largest diagnostics distributor in Chile, to distribute its products throughout that country.

“We continue to rapidly enter new markets through leading diagnostics distributors,“ said Jose Puig, DiaSys sales manager for Latin America. “Galenica has a strong track record in the medical community in Chile, and we believe that this agreement will help us reach many of the largest potential customers for our innovative medical tests.“

Founded in 1985, Galenica has 20 technical support personnel located in two offices in Chile supporting its 12-person sales force. Galenica exclusively represents companies such as Beckman Coulter (Fullerton, California) and Bio-Rad (San Diego). Its annual revenue is approximately $8 million.

Previously, DiaSys entered into distribution agreements with Tecnodiagnostica, the largest distributor of clinical diagnostic products in Costa Rica, Repreclin, a large clinical diagnostics distributor based in Venezuela and Grupo Mex Lab, a leading Mexican distributor of diagnostics products.

Taiwan is newest market for MSI

Medical Services International (MSI; Edmonton, Alberta) said it has expanded into Taiwan. The company reported reaching a distribution agreement for its VScan HIV test kit with a large pharmaceutical company headquartered in that country.

MSI said its receipt of regulatory approval in China, India and Vietnam and its accumulation of “significant test data“ from Southeast Asia “was instrumental in negotiating a deal that is very favorable to the company.“

In order to maintain its distributorship, the unnamed pharmaceutical company must purchase a minimum of 1 million HIV test kits in the first year of the contract. Each subsequent year of the three-year contract, the distributor must purchase in excess of 1.5 million HIV test kits per year.

The HIV test kits for this contract will be supplied from MSI's Shanghai facility. The company said it expects to begin shipping to Taiwan within the next 45 days.

MSI said there also has been “significant interest“ in Taiwan for both its Tuberculosis test kit and Dengue fever test kits, and that negotiations are ongoing related to those kits.

The VScan rapid test kit is a single-use, disposable and easy-to-use test for the screening of HIV 1 & 2, hepatitis B & C, tuberculosis, Dengue fever, West Nile virus and syphilis.