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MARION MERRELL DOW RESPONDS TO CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE'S STAFF REPORT

 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (NYSE: MKC) today issued the following statement regarding the pricing of prescription drugs:
 Marion Merrell Dow has committed to provide our prescription products to customers at prices that remain in line, overall, with annual inflationary expectations. We are keeping this commitment.
 It is unclear how a staff report to the Senate Committee on Aging, issued today, arrived at an "average price change" for Marion Merrell Dow in 1992 that is substantially higher than the rate of inflation. It apparently focuses on the "list" prices of only four of Marion Merrell Dow's U.S. prescription products and apparently lumps together a 1993 price change with the 1992 figures. It also apparently takes no account of federally mandated rebates or discounts, which are very significant in today's health care environment and which reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals to many customers. We believe this is misleading.
 Marion Merrell Dow's growth in 1992 came primarily from increased sales of new and existing products, not from price changes. In 1992, Marion Merrell Dow's net U.S. sales of prescription products grew nearly 13.6 percent. Price changes, net of rebates, contributed only 2.4 percent of the company's U.S. growth. Increased unit volume sales accounted for 11.1 percent.
 Effective January 31, 1992, we announced an increase in "list" prices for U.S. customers, in line with what we projected as inflationary expectations for 1992. On December 9, 1992, we announced prices for 1993, again in line with inflationary expectations, and allowed customers to make purchases to finish out 1992 at the old prices.
 The congressional staff report also highlights the price of one of our products, immediate-release Cardizem(R) tablets, in a misleading way. This ignores our introduction of Cardizem(R) CD, a new once-a-day medication which
is priced 34 percent less than immediate-release tablets. Cardizem CD is one of the industry's great success stories of


1992 -- an improved medication that is cost-effective for patients. It's unfortunate that the authors of this report did not factor this in.
 The issue of health care costs is a major concern for all of us, and we welcome the commitment of the administration and Congress to bringing health care costs under control. However, we do not believe the public interest is served by political rhetoric that singles out one segment of the community. Reform needs to deal with the full range of factors, considering that prescription drugs account for only 5 to 8 cents of each dollar of U.S. health care spending.
 In fact, prescription drugs often save thousands of dollars for patients, health care providers and taxpayers by helping avoid costly, complicated surgery and expensive hospitalization. We believe pharmaceuticals are an excellent value, and we are committed to helping the nation get the most value for its health care dollar.
 In 1992, Marion Merrell Dow invested $465 million in Research and Development, about 14 cents of every dollar of sales and an increase of 18 percent from a year earlier. This effort focuses on diseases such as epilepsy, asthma, heart disease, cancer, drug-resistant infections, allergies, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and many others. The cost of these diseases is immense, in human and economic terms, and development of new drugs to treat them would provide enormous savings for society. While working to provide greater access to health care for all, the nation should not undermine the economic foundation of an industry that continues to produce so many lifesaving and life-changing drugs.
 -0- 2/3/93
 /CONTACT: David M. Thompson or Richard M. Johnson of Marion Merrell Dow, 816-966-4000/
 (MKC)


CO: Marion Merrell Dow Inc. ST: Missouri IN: MTC SU:

BB -- DV009 -- 2640 02/03/93 17:46 EST
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Date:Feb 3, 1993
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