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AstraZeneca Accepts Secretary of Defense Award for Supporting Employees Serving in National Guard and Reserve

WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) accepted the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award on Thursday at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. This award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their outstanding support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

AstraZeneca US President Rich Fante accepted the award on behalf of AstraZeneca and was joined by AstraZeneca Vice President of Human Resources, Marta Perez, and members of the company's Military Support Employee Network Group.

"I am proud of how AstraZeneca leaders and employees are supporting not only their colleagues who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, but also their families and community members," Fante, a former Army Reservist, said.

AstraZeneca was nominated for the award by an employee from New Jersey, a current U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company employs more than 100 men and women serving in the National Guard or Reserve, and was one of 15 employers chosen for this award from among more than 3,200 total nominations.

AstraZeneca provides flexible policies and benefits designed to ease burdens on employees serving in the National Guard or Reserve, including:

  • Providing the difference between a service member's regular pay and military pay for military service up to 24 months, after which time each employee's situation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • Offering continuation of health and dental insurance for periods of military service greater than 12 months. Additionally, company-provided life insurance continues for one year after the start of the military leave and can be converted to a private plan after one year
  • Fostering a Military Support Employee Network Group, which is made up of 200 members including National Guard members and Reservists, employees who are veterans, employees whose family members are either veterans or who are currently in the service, plus employees who want to show their support of troops
  • Maintaining contact with the families of Guard and Reserve employees during periods of military service

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional support from the employer community.

AstraZeneca has received numerous ESGR state awards for its support for National Guard and Reserve employees, including several Patriot Awards, the Above and Beyond Award and the Pro Patria Award.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and in the supply of healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with global healthcare sales of $31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.5 billion dollar healthcare business.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings programs, please visit:

SOURCE AstraZeneca
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