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Executive Summary

PFIZER, SEARLE EXECS NAMED TO HEALTH CARE POLICY AND RESEARCH ADVISORY GROUP, HHS announced Sept. 20. Edward Bessey, Pfizer Hospital Products Group president, was designated a representative of "business" concerns. Searle Senior VP Joseph Curti will serve as a medical practice representative. Curti, nominated by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, is also on the board of trustees at Morehouse medical school, where HHS Secretary Sullivan was founder and president. The newly established council will be an advisory group to the Public Health Service Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR). The agency supplanted the National Center for Health Services Research, with expanded duties, as directed by the 1989 budget reconciliation law. In addition to developing Medicare coverage recommendations and funding a variety of health research services, the agency will support comparative research on the outcomes of health procedures and development of guidelines for medical practice. The advisory council will focus on the latter tasks. Bessey had been a member of NCHSR's advisory council. The 17-member panel will meet at least three times a year. Other members include American Society of Internal Medicine Executive VP Joe Boyle, MD, and Walter McNerny, Northwestern University health policy professor and the panel's "public policy" representative.

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