The outcome of such interaction, said Michael Mussallem, president of Baxter's Irvine division, will be that American firms have stronger impetus to invest in eastern Germany.
"We would have done things cautiously in the past," Mussallem said. "But we are exploring opportunities with people who already have strong presence there."
The company's Germany subsidiary, Baxter Deutschland, based in Munich, is also looking for buyers of cardiovascular equipment.
One likely candidate is Klinikum Berlin-Buch. At its clinical laboratory, for instance, the needs are legion, even after three years of political unity with the West.
Outside, the laboratory resembles a charming Ivy League college campus. Inside, the hallways that lead to the laboratories and offices are buckled with decades of neglect.
On the walls, ancient, painted-over wiring leads from unprotected fuse boxes to nearly-empty laboratories. In one cubicle, a cumbersome-looking East German-made blood analyzer sits on a scuffed desk in a corner.
"It has been difficult," said Beckman salesman Nesener, whose territory includes eastern German hospitals and doctors' offices from Berlin to Rostock on the North Sea.
"West Germans took no special effort right away," he said. "Now there are many opportunities for my company."
German Market Expands for U.S. Medical Firms
The modernization of former East German hospitals and other medical facilities has led to a potential sales boom for U.S. medical device manufacturers. Many Companies, such as Beckman Instruments in Fullerton, are making sales inroads into the former communist state.
U.S. Second in Market Share
In 1992, the United States ranked a close second among the top five suppliers of medical equipment to Germany.
United States: 21%
Great Britain: 4%
German Market Growing
The value of imported American technical medical equipment is expected to top $300 million this year and to increase 20% annually for the next three years. Import value in millions:
Best Sales Prospects
During the next five years, expenditures to modernize hospitals are expected to top $4 billion in Berlin alone. Here's what the hospitals need most:
* Non-polluting plastics and technologies for the manufacture of medical disposables
* Patient-monitoring systems
* Ultrasonic scanners
* Non-electronic diagnostic and therapeutic equipment
* Respiratory therapy equipment
* Nerve and muscle stimulation devices for rehabilitation
* New general and local anesthesia methods
* Laser technology
Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce; Health Industry Manufacturers Assn.; Researched by JANICE L. JONES / Los Angeles Times