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Enhanced U.S. Efforts to Fight Tropical Disease Offer Hope to Millions of Patients

Pharmaceutical Companies' Donations of Medicines Remain Key Component

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO Billy Tauzin today released the following statement on President Bush's proposal to increase the United States' efforts to battle neglected tropical diseases in the developing world:

"America's pharmaceutical research companies applaud President Bush's proposal to increase the United States' commitment to fight neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as trachoma, schistosomiasis, and river blindness. Many of these diseases are preventable and treatable, and this tremendous support -- coupled with the ongoing efforts by pharmaceutical companies -- offers great hope that we can bring an end to the devastation they cause.

"Today, most drugs to treat these diseases are donated by pharmaceutical companies -- at an estimated value in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Beyond the direct therapeutic benefit for patients, the contributions of these drugs also have a meaningful economic impact on the battle against disease in the developing world. In Sub-Saharan Africa, these donations have helped to lower the estimated cost of an effective program to fight NTDs to less than 40 cents per person per year, according to the White House.

"Researchers and scientists from America's pharmaceutical research companies are proud to have worked to develop effective treatments for a wide range of NTDs, and will be honored to accept President Bush's challenge to increase global action in this fight. Together, we can combat NTDs and significantly improve the lives of families and communities across Africa."

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (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. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $43 billion in 2006 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $55.2 billion in 2006.

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For information on stories of hope and survival, visit:

For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit:

For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit:

For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit:

SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America(PhRMA)
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