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PFIZER ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR KENNEDY/HATCH BILL THAT WOULD PROVIDE DRUG DISCOUNTS TO PUBLIC HEALTH CLINICS

PFIZER ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR KENNEDY/HATCH BILL THAT WOULD PROVIDE DRUG
 DISCOUNTS TO PUBLIC HEALTH CLINICS
 NEW YORK, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) announced today that it supports legislation to provide discounts on pharmaceutical products to qualified non-profit health centers funded under the Public Health Services Act. The bill, sponsored by Senators Ted Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts and Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah, was recently passed by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.
 "This bill would assure that public health clinics serving some of this country's neediest citizens receive discounts on prescription medicines," said William C. Steere, Jr., Pfizer president and chief executive officer. "We have expressed our support of this bill since last fall and have worked closely with its sponsors during the bill's development in Committee. We hope Congress will pass it soon."
 While Congress is completing action on the Senate bill, Pfizer will work to develop an appropriate mechanism to voluntarily extend discounts on its pharmaceutical products to qualified clinics the company ascertains would be covered under the certification process in the legislation. The level of discounts will be similar to those outlined in the bill.
 Pfizer's support of this legislation, and the program enacted in 1990 providing rebates on prescription drugs to Medicaid, reflect the company's concern that its products are available to low-income individuals assisted under federally supported programs. The company currently estimates that it will provide approximately $44 million in Medicaid rebates in the first year of its operation. Since the enactment of the Medicaid rebate law, Pfizer has worked closely with the states and has made substantial expenditures to implement the rebate program as quickly as possible. Pfizer also estimates that in 1991 it will provide the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense with $40 million in discounts on its pharmaceutical products.
 "In addition to these legislative efforts," said Steere, "Pfizer has had programs in place, some for more than a decade, to assure that patients are not deprived of the therapeutic benefits of our prescription medications because of financial hardship."
 Under the Pfizer Indigent Program, physicians providing uncompensated care to indigent patients can write to the company advising that the patient's prescription is not being reimbursed by Medicaid or a third party insurance program; the company will then supply the Pfizer medication to the physician at no charge, provided a prescription for the product is enclosed.
 Pfizer Inc is a diversified, research-based health care company with businesses in pharmaceuticals, hospital products, consumer products, animal health, and specialty chemicals and minerals. The company reported sales of more than $6.9 billion for 1991.
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: A. A. Biesada, 212-573-2055, or Rick Honey, 212-573-2051, both of Pfizer/
 (PFE) CO: Pfizer Inc ST: New York IN: MTC SU: SH -- NY054 -- 7804 02/07/92 13:20 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 7, 1992
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