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Executive Summary

PMA MANAGED CARE/HEALTH SYSTEMS VP KAREN WILLIAMS is assuming the top spot in a new office at the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. Williams, who has been with the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) for six years, was selected for the PMA position after a four-month search by the association that turned up over 120 applicants. Williams' most recent position at HIAA was director of that group's policy and planning department. Williams will be heading a group within PMA that will be responsible for policy research and federal lobbying on reimbursement issues. The Health Care Systems Office will take over the economic research and policy background development of the Office of Policy Affairs. It will also serve as the key contact group with government agencies involved in implementing Medicare and Medicaid policies, primarily the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Prior to her tenure at HIAA, Williams spent seven years with HHS and its predecessor (HEW), including five years with HCFA. From 1979 to 1982, Williams was Washington liaison officer for HCFA's Bureau of Eligibility. PMA's decision to establish a new office has been described by association officials as a significant restructuring to respond to both the growth of the managed care market and the pending passage of a Medicare outpatient drug coverage program. Reflecting the importance of the managed care environment to PMA, President Mossinghoff told a session at the recent APhA annual meeting that managed care "is coming; it's a thing we're going to have to live with." Commenting on Williams' appointment, Mossinghoff said: "The creation of this new office represents an increased emphasis by the association on reimbursement issues and other critical forces affecting the marketplace for prescription drugs." The government and HIAA experience give Williams a perspective and familiarity with reimbursement issues from both the public and private sector. In addition to her role as policy and planning director at HIAA, Williams previously served in the group's lobbying office as a Washington affairs representative.

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