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Richard T. Clark Elected PhRMA Board Chairman

WASHINGTON, March 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Richard T. Clark, Chief Executive Officer and President of Merck, was elected board chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today at the trade association's annual meeting. Also elected were AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer David Brennan as chairman-elect of the PhRMA board of directors and Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey B. Kindler as board treasurer.

In addition, PhRMA announced that Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America President Mark Booth, Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals Chief Operating Officer Gregg Lapointe and Ovation Pharmaceuticals President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey S. Aronin are new full members of PhRMA's board of directors.

Wyeth President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Poussot, Eli Lilly President and Chief Operating Officer John C. Lechleiter, and GlaxoSmithKline President, U.S. Pharmaceuticals Chris Viehbacher also recently joined the PhRMA board for the first time.

Mr. Clark succeeds Kevin Sharer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Amgen, as PhRMA's chairman.

"Kevin has provided steady and motivating guidance to our industry during his tenure -- a time when challenges are significant but our companies' commitment to research and development remains strong," said PhRMA President and Chief Executive Officer Billy Tauzin. "We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude and appreciation for his tireless leadership."

"It's been an honor serving as chairman for the past 18 months during a challenging time for our industry. Going forward, we must ensure that we continue to deliver new treatments and cures for patients, improve patient access and protect and advance innovation," Sharer said. "I want to thank Billy Tauzin for a great working partnership and for his leadership."

Mr. Clark has been chairman of Merck's board of directors since April 2007 and has been the company's chief executive officer and president since May 2005. Prior to assuming the top management spot, he was president of the Merck Manufacturing Division from 2003 to 2005.

During his 35-year career with Merck, Mr. Clark has held a wide range of operating and strategic positions in manufacturing, managed care and quality control. He served as chairman and chief executive officer of Medco Health Solutions from June 2002 to March 2003 and as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Merck-Medco from 1997 to 2000. Under his leadership, Medco Health emerged as a dominant company in the pharmacy benefits management industry. Mr. Clark began his career at Merck in 1972 as quality control inspector and industrial engineer.

As he assumed the chairmanship of PhRMA, Mr. Clark welcomed the chance to lead the board during what promises to be a key year for the organization and its members. "This is a time of real challenge and change for the industry and one of real opportunity as well," Clark said. "Millions of people live longer and better as a result of the inspired and dedicated work of our employees, yet we still need to do more and set the bar for ourselves even higher. We must work together with our stakeholders to create more transparency and build more trust."

"As the debate over the future of health care in America takes shape, we renew our commitment to work with all stakeholders to preserve and strengthen the policies that are so critical to our member companies and to patients here in the U.S. and abroad," said Tauzin. "Together, we must ensure that America's pharmaceutical research companies are able to continue to lead the world in the development of life-changing medicines -- and that patients fighting disease have access to needed treatments and cures. I look forward to tackling these challenges with Dick and the rest of the PhRMA board."

Mr. Brennan was named chief executive officer of AstraZeneca in January 2006. From 2001 through 2005 he was president and chief executive officer of AstraZeneca LP, the company's North America subsidiary. In 2005, Mr. Brennan was appointed executive board director of AstraZeneca, with responsibility for all North American operations.

Mr. Brennan, who began his career in 1975 as a sales representative at Merck, joined AstraMerck in 1992 to help build the joint venture into a multibillion dollar business in the U.S. Prior to the AstraZeneca merger he oversaw business planning and development at Astra Pharmaceuticals, and was appointed senior vice president of commercial operations at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP in 1999.

"I look forward to joining my PhRMA board of director colleagues and our member companies in the coming year as we strive to improve health care in the United States and around the world," said Brennan, who is becoming chairman-elect of the PhRMA board. "At AstraZeneca, we are committed to applying world-class science to discover and develop new medicines that make a meaningful difference in patients' lives, while also working to ensure patients have access to our products and health care in general. This is a goal we all share, and I am eager to work with my PhRMA colleagues on this important work."

Mr. Kindler was named Pfizer's chief executive officer in July 2006 and has served as chairman of the company's board since December 2006. He joined Pfizer in 2002 as executive vice president and general counsel, with responsibility for Pfizer's legal division. He was named vice chairman in 2005, joining the company's four-person executive committee and assuming responsibility for Pfizer's corporate affairs division.

Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Kindler served as vice president of litigation and legal policy at General Electric. He also served as executive vice president and general counsel at McDonald's Corporation before moving into line management at McDonald's Corporation as president of partner brands. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Kindler began his legal career as an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission. He later served as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.

"I am pleased to join PhRMA's leadership team at such a vital moment for healthcare in the United States. PhRMA supports quality, affordable health care coverage for all Americans and is committed to working to achieve health reform that is built on access to treatment, investments in prevention and wellness, and an understanding of the value of innovation. By advancing reforms based on these principles, we can improve patient health and benefit the larger healthcare system," said Kindler.

Mr. Booth brings to the PhRMA board more than 20 years of industry experience. Before being named president in August 2002, he was executive vice president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, overseeing all commercial and business operations, as well as medical and scientific affairs. Prior to joining TPNA in October 2001, Mr. Booth was general manager and senior vice president of commercial operations at Immunex, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company. He began his career at Abbott Laboratories in 1983.

Mr. Lapointe, who previously served on the PhRMA board as an international affiliate, joined Sigma-Tau in September 2001 as vice president of finance. In August 2002, he became vice president of operations, and in November 2003, he was elected chief operating officer. Before joining Sigma-Tau, Mr. Lapointe was vice president of operations and vice president, controller of AstenJohnson, and he spent five years working in the Canadian medical products industry in a variety of roles. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. Aronin, who formerly served on PhRMA's board of directors as a research associate, founded Ovation Pharmaceuticals in 2000. Previously, he led MedCare Technologies as chairman, chief executive officer and president, and held various executive positions at American Health Products and Carter-Wallace.

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 $44.5 billion in 2007 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $58.8 billion in 2007.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
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