Pharmaceutical Industry: In 1997 the Austrian pharmaceutical industry comprised about 230 companies (production and wholesale) with a total of around 9,260 employees. The production value amounted to ATS 15.5 billion in 1996 (1.2 % of entire European pharmaceutical production). Since 1970 sales to pharmacies have more than doubled: 43 companies recorded sales of more than ATS 100 million in 1997; between 1986-1997 prices of medicaments showed a cumulated decrease of 0.7 % (consumer price index +32.6 %). - In Austria the ratio of preparations only available on prescription is higher than in other countries (1997 about 88.3%). In 1977, 52.1 % of all authorised drugs were still covered by the health insurance system, by 1997 the ratio had dropped to 25 %, the average share to be paid by the patient remaining more or less the same at 20 % (1997: 21.8 %). Around 2 % of the turnover of the pharmaceutical industry is used for research and development. Genetic Engineering is of increasing importance. The most important pharmaceutical companies in Austria are: Baxter AG, Bayer Austria Ges. m. b. H., Biochemie GmbH, Boehringer Ingelheim Austria GmbH, Herba Chemosan Apotheker-AG und F. Joh. Kwizda Ges. m. b. H..