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STEERE POINTS TO NEW ERA FOR PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IN INAUGURAL SPEECH AS PMA CHAIRMAN

 NEW YORK, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In his inaugural address as chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMA), Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William C. Steere, Jr. today urged the industry to "join me in confronting head-on the concerns of our fellow citizens about access to, and the affordability of, our products."
 Mr. Steere called for "an era of increased helpfulness, openness and candor in our relations with government and the American people." He also asked the nation's policymakers to acknowledge the "dramatically altered conditions in our industry that leave us with little margin for error and highly vulnerable to rash or hostile policy decisions."
 A new study by the Boston Consulting Group, sponsored by Pfizer, examines at length the tremendous changes in the environment for pharmaceuticals in the past few years. Among the changes described are a market with greatly intensified price competition, a dramatic increase in industry-supported research and development, and the expansion of cost-conscious health care delivery systems such as managed care.
 Mr. Steere praised PMA's "leadership role in the health care debate" by noting its support for managed competition, the inclusion of prescription drugs in a standard benefits package and a prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries. PMA also supports Medicaid prescription drug coverage to at least 100 percent of the poverty level, he said.
 He underscored the industry's special concern that health care reform "strengthen our national commitment to medical innovation, not undermine our world competitive position."
 Mr. Steere said 11 drug companies representing more than 40 percent of the industry's U.S. sales have individually stated their decision to limit price increases across their prescription product lines so as not to exceed the level of inflation, adding, "And those pledges are being honored."
 A further step urged by Mr. Steere would build on the long-standing programs of PMA companies which provide free medicines, through physicians, to indigent patients.
 "While health care reform is being debated," he said, "let's go the rest of the way by devising programs so sturdy and effective that no indigent American is denied access to the prescription medicines he or she needs. I am asking you to join me in fashioning programs that capture the imagination of our fellow citizens."
 -0- 3/30/93
 /CONTACT: Tony Biesada, 212-573-2055, or Rich Honey, 212-573-2051, both of Pfizer/
 (PFE)


CO: Pfizer Inc ST: New York IN: MTC SU:

SM-LR -- NY071 -- 1157 03/30/93 15:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 30, 1993
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