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Milan Panic, Chairman and CEO of ICN Pharmaceuticals and Former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, Meets With Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of The World Health Organization Geneva (ots-PRNewswire) - - Appeals to the world: 'Don't bomb Serbs. Remove Milosevic.' - Warns of a potential public health catastrophe in Serbia as a result of the illegal seizure of ICN Yugoslavia. Milan Panic, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: ICN) and former Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, met here today with Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and former Prime Minister of Norway. Mr. Panic told the head of the WHO that the illegal seizure of the ICN facility in Yugoslavia by the Serbian government is endangering the health of the Yugoslavian people. ICN's Yugoslav subsidiary supplies 50 percent of the medicinal needs of Serbia. Since it acquired its Serbian factory in 1991, ICN maintained its commitment to produce needed drugs for the people of Yugoslavia despite a deteriorating business environment, including hyperinflation and price controls, created by the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council against Yugoslavia in 1992. In early 1998, ICN agreed to sell medicines to the Yugoslav government on long-term credit to ensure their continued availability to the Yugoslav people. Milosevic's government expressed its "gratitude" a few months later by defaulting on a debt of $174 million due ICN for medicines provided to the Serbian health system. Without the working capital and expertise supplied by ICN, Mr. Panic added, the Serbian government will be unable to operate ICN's factory effectively, thus denying the Yugoslav people the medicines they need. The health of the nation will deteriorate, and the result will be a tragedy caused by a callused political system that cares only about retaining its dictatorial monopoly on power, at the expense of its citizens. "The only true solutions to the problems of former Yugoslavia are democratization and integration in a unified Europe," Mr. Panic said, "and this can only become possible if the country gets rid of Slobodan Milosevic and his regime. Threats of air strikes and dependence on Milosevic for peace can only strengthen Milosevic." The international community, Mr. Panic underscored, should support the democratic opposition in Serbia, which he represents. The world should isolate Milosevic, he said, and force him to resign. "NATO should not try to bomb Milosevic to the negotiating table but should exclude him from the table", said Mr. Panic. Milosevic is the one who is to blame for much of the bloodshed in former Yugoslavia ever since 1991, Mr. Panic emphasized. No means of pressure on Milosevic should be spared, including freezing his personal assets abroad. Urging Mrs. Brundtland to express her concern for the potential for a public health catastrophe in Yugoslavia, caused by the seizure of ICN Yugoslavia, Mr. Panic reiterated his appeal to the world: "Don't bomb Serbs. Remove Milosevic." ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. manufactures and markets a broad range of prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals and biotechnology research products in over 90 countries. ICN has operations in North and Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. Additional information is available on the corporate website at http://www.icnpharm.com. ots Original Text Service: ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Internet: http://www.newsaktuell.de Contact: New York - Whit Clay, (USA) 212-704-4559, or London - Simon Scott, 44-171-344-1253 both of Edelman Worldwide, for ICN Pharmaceuticals Web site: http://www.icnpharm.com
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