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STRATEGIC PRIORITIES HIGHLIGHT UPJOHN ANNUAL MEETING

 KALAMAZOO, Mich., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Shareholders of The Upjohn Company (NYSE: UPJ) meeting here today heard officers discuss strategic priorities for the future and significant changes the company has made to create an organization positioned to compete successfully in an increasingly challenging global business environment. The company will strive to achieve 1994 earnings at the same level as 1993 and has shortened the development time for Freedox for hemorrhagic stroke. Upjohn expects to file for regulatory approval of Freedox this year. The financial highlights of 1992 and first-quarter 1993, the research and development product pipeline and health care reform were also discussed.
 Presiding at the meeting, Ley S. Smith, Upjohn President and Chief Operating Officer, who is acting as chief executive officer, reviewed the company's strategic priorities.
 The strategic plan is on course, Smith said, and includes: refocusing the company on core business activities; continuing a strong investment in product development; reducing costs; and adapting to a changing customer base.
 Smith said Upjohn has largely completed its plans to refocus efforts on its core pharmaceutical and agricultural businesses. "We will focus on these core businesses because we feel they offer the best return on our investment. It also provides a way for us to offer products of tremendous medical, nutritional and social value," Smith said.
 Smith assured shareholders that the company would continue its strong commitment to research and development. Since 1983, Upjohn has annually invested more than 14 percent of sales in research and development. "The ability to create innovative new products that meet unmet medical needs remains the most important determinant of a company's success in the pharmaceutical industry. It is the means through which we are able to continue to advance science and enhance life," Smith said.
 The company is also in the process of adapting to a changing customer base. "The way to succeed in such an environment is to market innovative medications that offer clearly defined value and improve patient outcomes for the most vexing medical problems," Smith said.
 Upjohn Vice Chairman of the Board William U. Parfet said that 1992 consolidated sales increased 7 percent to $3.6 billion and earnings before accounting changes and restructurings rose 4 percent to $562 million. All businesses contributed to the 1992 sales gains. First-quarter 1993 sales and primary earnings per share were up 7 and 12 percent, respectively.
 Since 1989, the company has emphasized cost control measures and instituted two restructuring programs in order to build a solid foundation for future growth. "These programs helped us gain flexibility by adding revenue-producing functions in rapidly developing markets and help to provide the money to sustain our research and development program," Parfet said.
 In April, the company took advantage of lower interest rates to refinance debt and sold $200 million of 5.87 percent notes, due in the year 2000. "This refinancing lowers our cash outlay for interest expense, enabling us to invest these savings in other important opportunities that will contribute to long-term growth," Parfet said.
 Upjohn Vice Chairman of the Board and President, Upjohn Laboratories, Jerry R. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., discussed short- and longer-term strategies for Upjohn Laboratories. These include: expanding current product lines; shortening development times; globalizing development; and focusing on innovative new therapies to treat unmet medical needs.
 Mitchell noted that the short-term strategy is already working. In 1992, Upjohn received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market eight new products and product-line extensions. Nine products and product-line extensions are awaiting approval in 1993 or 1994.
 The company continues to accelerate clinical studies of Freedox (tirilazadmesylate), the anti-oxidant compound for the treatment of hemorrhagic stroke, head injury, ischemic stroke and spinal cord injury, and three promising anti-HIV compounds. The longer-term pipeline includes potential products to treat Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, atrial arrythmias (irregular heartbeat), cancer and diabetes, Mitchell said.
 Upjohn Vice Chairman of the Board Mark Novitch, M.D., discussed the national debate over health care reform, which will likely expand access to health care and place a greater emphasis on cost effectiveness. "We believe the cost containment inherent in managed competition, together with expanded access, will provide both needed benefits to patients and the returns essential for investment in new technologies," Novitch said.
 Commenting on the need for worldwide regulatory reform, Novitch said, "Regulatory harmonization would surely reduce redundant and disparate studies, which only add to the cost and time involved in moving important new therapies into the marketplace."
 Novitch said the FDA has committed to cutting review times for all new drug applications to 12 months and expedited reviews of urgently needed drugs to six months by 1997. "If the FDA is able to hit these specific performance targets, the benefits will be enormous. Patients will get the medications they need sooner, perhaps saving lives," Novitch said.
 Smith expressed confidence in the company's outlook: "I am confident that, with the research and development capability we have built, a strong sales and marketing team and the implementation of Total Quality initiatives in our global manufacturing operations, the company's strategic plan will create long-term value for all our constituencies -- our shareholders, customers, employees and the communities around the globe where Upjohn conducts its business."
 In other business, shareholders elected W.E. LaMothe and Smith as directors for three-year terms, expiring in 1996.
 The Upjohn Company is a worldwide, research-based provider of human health care products, animal health products, agronomic and vegetable seeds and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, the company has been dedicated to improving health and nutrition for more than a century.
 -0- 5/18/93
 /CONTACT: John P. Lambrechts, 616-323-7076, or Thomas M. VanderMolen, 616-323-6386, both of The Upjohn Company/
 (UPJ)


CO: The Upjohn Company ST: Michigan IN: MTC SU:

SB -- DE021 -- 9876 05/18/93 15:05 EDT
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Date:May 18, 1993
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