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AstraZeneca's David Brennan Elected PhRMA Board Chairman

SAN ANTONIO, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer David Brennan was elected board chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today at the group's annual meeting.

In a speech to the meeting attendees, Brennan called on his industry colleagues and all segments of the health care system to work together in a new collaborative and bipartisan manner on meaningful health care reform that includes:

  • Increased access to health and prescription drug coverage for the uninsured and the under-insured.
  • Greater emphasis on disease prevention to reduce the burden of chronic diseases on individuals and the health care system as a whole.
  • Reduced co-pays for prescription medicines to bring them more in line with what patients pay for other health services.
  • Ensuring the Food and Drug Administration has the funding it needs to protect patients by effectively reviewing life-saving and enhancing medications.

Brennan said a modernized health system should also protect intellectual property and promote innovation as scientists seek cures to the world's deadliest and most debilitating illnesses.

"The pharmaceutical industry is uniquely poised to be both a source of innovative medicines and a trusted member of the health care community," Brennan said. "Pharmaceutical researchers and manufacturers can play a critical role in advancing health solutions that build on the strengths of the U.S. health care system and address its weaknesses.

"I look forward to working with my industry colleagues, policymakers, health advocacy organizations and new, nontraditional partners to promote policies that expand access to affordable health coverage, address the burden of chronic disease and close the gaps in health care quality while fostering continued innovation," Brennan said.

Brennan, who will serve as PhRMA chairman for a year, has been AstraZeneca's chief executive officer since Jan. 1, 2006. Under Brennan's leadership, AstraZeneca made a number of changes that tie directly to its mission of making a difference to patient health, including:

  • Expanding its prescription savings programs in the United States so that an uninsured family of four earning up to $60,000 per year may qualify to receive their AstraZeneca medicines for free.
  • Introducing a prescription savings program specifically for people with Medicare Part D, through which a senior couple earning up to $40,000 per year may qualify for significant savings.
  • Becoming the first company to include information about its prescription savings programs in product advertisements, and supporting FDA review of these ads.
  • Supporting disease prevention and employee wellness through sponsorship of the American Heart Association START! Program and the National Senior Games Association, and being one of the first companies to receive "CEO Cancer Gold Standard" accreditation by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.
  • Becoming the first company to give nationwide, large-scale support to the American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program, which will link cancer patients at more than 50 sites across the U.S. with individuals who serve as their personal guides through various aspects of their cancer experience.
  • Supporting the National Alliance on Mental Illness's Connection Recover Support Group, which plans to provide a support group within reasonable traveling distance for every American who lives with mental illness, every day of the week, in English or Spanish, by the year 2010.
  • Becoming a founding member of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, a coalition of organizations and individuals who support increased Congressional funding for FDA.

From 2001 until his appointment to global CEO, Brennan was president and chief executive officer of AstraZeneca LP, the Company's North America subsidiary. He was appointed Executive Board Director of AstraZeneca in 2005, with responsibility for the United States, the company's largest market, as well as all North American operations.

David began his career in 1975 at Merck, where he rose from sales representative in the U.S. division to general manager of Chibret International, a French subsidiary of Merck specializing in ophthalmics. He joined AstraMerck in 1992 with responsibility for helping to build the joint venture into a multi-billion dollar business in the United States.

Prior to the AstraZeneca merger he was responsible for business planning and development at Astra Pharmaceuticals. He was appointed senior vice president of commercial operations of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP in 1999. Brennan is an alumnus of Gettysburg College.

PhRMA represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives.

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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