Health Products Research Releases Fourth Quarter Contact Lens Market Data

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Health Products Research, Inc.

    WHITEHOUSE, N.J., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Products Research,
 Inc.(R) (HPR(R)), a division of Ventiv Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: VTIV), today
 released fourth quarter contact lens market data.
     While the overall market is still showing strong long-term growth, the
 exceptional growth of the bifocal and toric segments earlier in 2000
 stabilized during the fourth quarter of 2000. The substantial increase in
 new-to-contact lens patient fits from Q4 1999 to Q4 2000 was driven by growth
 in toric and spherical fits, somewhat mitigated by a drop in bifocal fits.
 Manufacturers' brand share and dominant market position are likely to shift in
 the future, especially as CIBA's acquisition of Wesley-Jessen and Ocular
 Science's acquisition of Sunsoft create new dynamics in the market going
 forward.
     Highlights of the Fourth Quarter 2000  findings include:
 
     Soft Lens Market
     This market continued to show strong growth.
 
     -- Total patient visits showed strong growth over Q4 1999 and minimal
        seasonal decreases since Q3 2000.
     -- Total patient visits increased almost 10% for the full year 2000 over
        the previous year.
     -- New-to-contact lens patients rose 25% from Q4 1999; growth in this
        segment slowed from Q3 2000, in line with seasonal expectations.
 
     Rigid Gas Permeable Market
     This market continues to show dynamic growth, with total patient visits in
 Q4 2000 showing substantial gains over Q4 1999
 
     Brand Switches
     Disposable modalities and diverse fit options continue to drive customers
 to try new brands and modalities.
 
     -- In Q4 2000, brand switches accounted for approximately 20% of total
        contact lens patient visits and just under 20% of lenses sold -- both
        consistent with the fourth quarter of 1999.
     -- Soft lens brand switch patient visits decreased from Q3 2000 -- the
        first decrease in 4 quarters.
     -- Bifocal fits and toric fits represented a large and growing percentage
        of switches for the year 2000, both surpassing the percentage of
        spherical lens brand switches in the same period.
     -- Patients are also switching to more frequent wear schedules; visits for
        daily and other disposable lenses increased in Q4 2000, while visits
        for traditional/reusable lenses gradually decreased.
 
     Planned Replacement
     Planned replacement lens visits are holding steady, reinforcing the
 industry's hopes that shorter wear schedules would grow the market as a whole
 instead of stealing share from the planned replacement and traditional wear
 categories. Same brand replenishments made up over two-thirds of the total
 number of lens patient visits in Q4 2000, down slightly from Q4 1999 but up
 from Q3 2000. While this segment typically demonstrates a very stable share
 distribution between bifocal, toric, and spherical lens types, toric lens
 share has increased by 7% since Q4 1999 to comprise 11.6% of this segment.
 Spherical lens share of same brand replenishments has dropped correspondingly.
 
     Real Growth vs Cannibalization
     While the contact lens market is growing as a whole, there is a risk
 associated with more specialty lens options and growing disposable and daily
 fits. A new product with better options for the patient is an asset if it
 detracts from a competitor's share, or if it encourages new patients to wear
 lenses. If, however, the new product steals share from a manufacturer's own
 existing product lines, it can undermine that company's profits. Even minor
 changes in patient visits can result in major impact of actual lens volumes
 for both 2-week disposables and especially daily disposal lenses. While
 volumes are high for disposable lenses, profit margins are typically lower for
 1-day and two-week disposable lenses than they are for either planned
 replacement or traditional lenses. Knowing the original brand or manufacturer
 choice of patients who switch brands is therefore very important to
 determining the state of the industry.
 
     Health Products Research, Inc.'s Vision Information Services (VIS)(SM) --
 Contact Lens Report is based on survey responses from more than 500 contact
 lens dispensing locations that quarterly record all transactions over a
 two-to-four week period. The respondent panel consisted of private practice
 ophthalmology and optometry offices, independent retail outlets and national
 retail chains. The report contains the detailed data and trends described in
 this release, as well as additional information. Health Products Research also
 produces VIS SM-Annual Consumer Eyewear Survey, and VIS SM-The IOL Report.
 
     Questions regarding the specifics of this report can be addressed to
 Rebekkah Carney, Manager of Client Services, (908) 534-4148, ext. 1206.
 
     Headquartered in Whitehouse, NJ, Health Products Research, a division of
 Ventiv Health, is a leading provider of strategic and tactical sales and
 marketing solutions to the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. For more than 25
 years, HPR has provided sophisticated consulting services which include
 marketing research, promotion analysis, market segmentation, strategic
 planning, sales force deployment and call planning. Utilizing market, product
 and physician-level intelligence, in combination with advanced statistical
 modeling, HPR offers pharmaceutical management solutions that maximize the
 effective use of promotional resources, thereby optimizing Return On
 Investment. With office locations in the United States and United Kingdom, HPR
 is a division of Ventiv Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: VTIV), a leading global provider
 of comprehensive outsourced marketing and sales solutions for the
 pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. The Company generated 2000
 revenue in excess of $400 million, and operates across the United States,
 France, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria and Hungary. For more information on
 Ventiv Health, visit http://www.ventiv.com.
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking
 statements involve known and unknown risks that may cause Ventiv Health's
 performance to differ materially. Such risks include, without limitation:
 changes in trends in the pharmaceutical industry or in pharmaceutical
 outsourcing; our ability to compete successfully with other services in the
 market; our ability to maintain large client contracts or to enter into new
 contracts; uncertainties related to future incentive payments; and, our
 ability to operate successfully in new lines of business. Readers of this
 press release are referred to documents filed from time to time by Ventiv
 Health, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission for further
 discussion of these and other factors.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X06406461
 
 

SOURCE Health Products Research, Inc.
    WHITEHOUSE, N.J., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Products Research,
 Inc.(R) (HPR(R)), a division of Ventiv Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: VTIV), today
 released fourth quarter contact lens market data.
     While the overall market is still showing strong long-term growth, the
 exceptional growth of the bifocal and toric segments earlier in 2000
 stabilized during the fourth quarter of 2000. The substantial increase in
 new-to-contact lens patient fits from Q4 1999 to Q4 2000 was driven by growth
 in toric and spherical fits, somewhat mitigated by a drop in bifocal fits.
 Manufacturers' brand share and dominant market position are likely to shift in
 the future, especially as CIBA's acquisition of Wesley-Jessen and Ocular
 Science's acquisition of Sunsoft create new dynamics in the market going
 forward.
     Highlights of the Fourth Quarter 2000  findings include:
 
     Soft Lens Market
     This market continued to show strong growth.
 
     -- Total patient visits showed strong growth over Q4 1999 and minimal
        seasonal decreases since Q3 2000.
     -- Total patient visits increased almost 10% for the full year 2000 over
        the previous year.
     -- New-to-contact lens patients rose 25% from Q4 1999; growth in this
        segment slowed from Q3 2000, in line with seasonal expectations.
 
     Rigid Gas Permeable Market
     This market continues to show dynamic growth, with total patient visits in
 Q4 2000 showing substantial gains over Q4 1999
 
     Brand Switches
     Disposable modalities and diverse fit options continue to drive customers
 to try new brands and modalities.
 
     -- In Q4 2000, brand switches accounted for approximately 20% of total
        contact lens patient visits and just under 20% of lenses sold -- both
        consistent with the fourth quarter of 1999.
     -- Soft lens brand switch patient visits decreased from Q3 2000 -- the
        first decrease in 4 quarters.
     -- Bifocal fits and toric fits represented a large and growing percentage
        of switches for the year 2000, both surpassing the percentage of
        spherical lens brand switches in the same period.
     -- Patients are also switching to more frequent wear schedules; visits for
        daily and other disposable lenses increased in Q4 2000, while visits
        for traditional/reusable lenses gradually decreased.
 
     Planned Replacement
     Planned replacement lens visits are holding steady, reinforcing the
 industry's hopes that shorter wear schedules would grow the market as a whole
 instead of stealing share from the planned replacement and traditional wear
 categories. Same brand replenishments made up over two-thirds of the total
 number of lens patient visits in Q4 2000, down slightly from Q4 1999 but up
 from Q3 2000. While this segment typically demonstrates a very stable share
 distribution between bifocal, toric, and spherical lens types, toric lens
 share has increased by 7% since Q4 1999 to comprise 11.6% of this segment.
 Spherical lens share of same brand replenishments has dropped correspondingly.
 
     Real Growth vs Cannibalization
     While the contact lens market is growing as a whole, there is a risk
 associated with more specialty lens options and growing disposable and daily
 fits. A new product with better options for the patient is an asset if it
 detracts from a competitor's share, or if it encourages new patients to wear
 lenses. If, however, the new product steals share from a manufacturer's own
 existing product lines, it can undermine that company's profits. Even minor
 changes in patient visits can result in major impact of actual lens volumes
 for both 2-week disposables and especially daily disposal lenses. While
 volumes are high for disposable lenses, profit margins are typically lower for
 1-day and two-week disposable lenses than they are for either planned
 replacement or traditional lenses. Knowing the original brand or manufacturer
 choice of patients who switch brands is therefore very important to
 determining the state of the industry.
 
     Health Products Research, Inc.'s Vision Information Services (VIS)(SM) --
 Contact Lens Report is based on survey responses from more than 500 contact
 lens dispensing locations that quarterly record all transactions over a
 two-to-four week period. The respondent panel consisted of private practice
 ophthalmology and optometry offices, independent retail outlets and national
 retail chains. The report contains the detailed data and trends described in
 this release, as well as additional information. Health Products Research also
 produces VIS SM-Annual Consumer Eyewear Survey, and VIS SM-The IOL Report.
 
     Questions regarding the specifics of this report can be addressed to
 Rebekkah Carney, Manager of Client Services, (908) 534-4148, ext. 1206.
 
     Headquartered in Whitehouse, NJ, Health Products Research, a division of
 Ventiv Health, is a leading provider of strategic and tactical sales and
 marketing solutions to the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. For more than 25
 years, HPR has provided sophisticated consulting services which include
 marketing research, promotion analysis, market segmentation, strategic
 planning, sales force deployment and call planning. Utilizing market, product
 and physician-level intelligence, in combination with advanced statistical
 modeling, HPR offers pharmaceutical management solutions that maximize the
 effective use of promotional resources, thereby optimizing Return On
 Investment. With office locations in the United States and United Kingdom, HPR
 is a division of Ventiv Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: VTIV), a leading global provider
 of comprehensive outsourced marketing and sales solutions for the
 pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. The Company generated 2000
 revenue in excess of $400 million, and operates across the United States,
 France, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria and Hungary. For more information on
 Ventiv Health, visit http://www.ventiv.com.
 
     This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning
 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking
 statements involve known and unknown risks that may cause Ventiv Health's
 performance to differ materially. Such risks include, without limitation:
 changes in trends in the pharmaceutical industry or in pharmaceutical
 outsourcing; our ability to compete successfully with other services in the
 market; our ability to maintain large client contracts or to enter into new
 contracts; uncertainties related to future incentive payments; and, our
 ability to operate successfully in new lines of business. Readers of this
 press release are referred to documents filed from time to time by Ventiv
 Health, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission for further
 discussion of these and other factors.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X06406461
 
 SOURCE  Health Products Research, Inc.