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Ronald Salem of PharMerica Appointed Chairman of State Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee; Governor Bush Forms Committee to Help Control Medicaid Drug Costs

August 31, 2001

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 31, 2001--Dr. Ronald Salem, senior general manager of PharMerica, a unit of AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC), was named chairman of the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration's newly formed Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee. Governor Jeb Bush announced the appointment August 27.

The committee was formed to help rein in the state's escalating Medicaid patient drug costs. The committee will review and approve or reject drugs for AHCA's Preferred Drug List. Only drugs on this list may be easily prescribed for Medicaid patients. Physicians must receive prior approval from AHCA for drugs not on the list. At minimum, the committee will meet quarterly to review the therapeutic benefits of drugs for the Preferred Drug List before approving or rejecting them.

"It is an honor to be named to this committee. I'm certain we can provide some solutions that will help curb Florida's runaway drug expenses without compromising patient outcomes and safety," Salem said.

The committee consists of 11 members, including five physicians, five pharmacists, and a university professor. The committee was named last week and met for the first time Saturday in Orlando. The committee's members then voted Salem chairman for a term of two years. He was named to the committee for his clinical and cost containment experience.

PharMerica, headquartered in Tampa, supplies pharmaceutical services to nursing homes. As general manager of PharMerica's Jacksonville pharmacy, Salem oversees day-to-day operations and delivery of medications and services to residents in more than 25 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Previously, he was director of Jacksonville's Neighborhood and Community Programs, a position he held for two years. Mayor John Delaney appointed him chairman of Citizens for Better Jacksonville in 2000.

A pharmacist for 23 years, Salem received a doctorate in pharmacy and a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Florida in Gainesville.

About PharMerica

PharMerica is a leading provider of institutional pharmacy services to the elderly, chronically ill and disabled in long-term care and alternate site settings, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, specialty hospitals and residential living communities. PharMerica also provides mail order home delivery pharmacy services to workers' compensation patients and the catastrophically ill, and electronically adjudicates workers' compensation prescription claims from pharmacies on behalf of commercial insurance carriers.

About AmerisourceBergen

AmerisourceBergen is the largest pharmaceutical services company in the United States dedicated solely to the pharmaceutical supply chain. It is the leading distributor of pharmaceutical products and services to the hospital systems/acute care market, alternate care facilities, and independent community pharmacies. The Company is also a leader in the institutional pharmacy marketplace. With approximately $36 billion in annualized operating revenues, AmerisourceBergen is headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and employs more than 13,000 people serving over 25,000 customers.

CONTACT: PharMerica
Sonya Trezevant, 800/237-7676, ext. 86682

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