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LOUCKS: BAXTER POSITIONED FOR HEALTH REFORM; COMPANY HELPED U.S. HOSPITALS REDUCE COSTS BY $190 MILLION IN 1992

 CHICAGO, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter's (NYSE: BAX) operational strength and unique ability to help hospitals reduce costs will enable the company to grow profitably in America's new health-care environment, to develop new life-saving products and to expand its business overseas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vernon R. Loucks Jr. told stockholders today at the company's annual meeting. Loucks also announced the company plans to create a Corporate Responsibility Office with comprehensive powers in ethics policies and practices.
 The key feature of President Clinton's health-reform plan -- increased access to affordable care -- plays directly to Baxter's strengths, Loucks said. Demand for the company's products will grow if the President is successful in opening the doors of health care to the 37 million Americans who lack health insurance.
 Loucks cited the company's cost-saving services as an example of its ability to succeed in a highly competitive, price-sensitive environment. "It's a matter of record that Baxter realized no price increase on its product sales taken as a whole between 1977 and 1989," he said. "Since that time, we've averaged 1 percent -- well below the rate of general inflation." Loucks said the company continues to forge cooperative relationships with customers that reduce costs substantially. "We saved U.S. hospitals almost $190 million in 1992 alone, and we're just warming up. We estimate there is another $25 billion in unnecessary costs...that Baxter has the know-how to take out of the system altogether in the decade ahead."
 The company's R&D program has been among the most productive of any corporation, Loucks noted. "Nearly 34 percent of our sales last year (of products Baxter makes) came from products that were not on the market five years ago," he said. While a portion of the company's R&D investment is applied toward improving existing products, a larger share is directed at innovative research in a number of areas, including:
 -- a substitute for human blood that could be used to treat victims
 of severe blood loss and shock, stroke, sickle-cell anemia, and
 other conditions;
 -- a left ventricular assist system that -- in clinical trials -- is
 keeping alive patients who otherwise would die while awaiting a
 heart transplant;
 -- a method of using manufactured antibodies to reduce organ
 rejection following kidney-transplant surgery.
 Loucks said the company is expanding its existing international business and pushing into new markets around the world through a combination of direct investment and business partnerships. The company hopes to quadruple its sales in the Pacific Rim to $2 billion by the year 2000, and to increase the portion of its total sales that come from international markets to 40 percent from a current level of 27 percent, he said.
 Loucks also addressed the company's recent admission of a violation of U.S. law related to Baxter's business dealings in the Middle East during the late 1980s. "Of particular concern to me is the implication and allegation that Baxter had cooperated with the Arab boycott of the state of Israel," Loucks said. "That is absolutely not true. We have enjoyed and continue to enjoy significant business and research relationships with Israel."
 Loucks noted that while government investigators found that he was not personally involved in the legal violation, he is "very much disturbed by it...and committed never to let it happen again." To accomplish this objective, Loucks said that the public policy committee of the board will undertake a comprehensive review of Baxter's management policies and ethics procedures. He said the company would create a Corporate Responsibility Office reporting directly to the public policy committee, which consists solely of directors who are not members of the company. The new office will have broad responsibility for review and enforcement of company ethics policies and practices.
 Stockholders voted to re-elect Silas S. Cathcart, Wilbur H. Gantz, David W. Grainger, Martha R. Ingram and Fred L. Turner to three-year terms as directors. Stockholders also voted to ratify the appointment of Price Waterhouse as the company's independent public accountant.
 Separately, Baxter's board of directors today declared a regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share on the company's common stock, payable July 1, 1993, to shareholders of record on June 10, 1993.
 Baxter International, through its subsidiaries, is the leading manufacturer and marketer of health-care products, systems and services worldwide. The company reported 1992 sales of $8.5 billion.
 -0- 4/30/93
 /CONTACT: Geoffrey D. Fenton of Baxter International, 708-948-3436/
 (BAX)


CO: Baxter International ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:

TM -- NY104 -- 3504 04/30/93 21:47 EDT
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Date:Apr 30, 1993
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