THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the First Lady
FIRST LADY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON AND RUSSIAN FIRST LADY NAINA YELTSIN TAKE ANOTHER STEP IN THEIR CONTINUING EFFORTS ON BEHALF
OF RUSSIAN CHILDREN
On behalf of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, U. S. Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering and Jeffrey Lack, Vice President, CIS for the American company Bristol-Myers Squibb, yesterday presented $350,000 worth of Phenyl-Free to Mrs. Naina Yeltsin and Dr. Vladimir Kocherovets, Deputy Minister of Health to the Russian Federation, at a reception in Moscow. "I am grateful to Bristol-Myers Squibb for donating this medicine, which will make a real difference in the lives of Russian children," said First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Phenyl-Free is a nutritional formula used to treat children suffering from Phenylketonuria (PKU), an inherited disease that affects the central nervous system in children. Diet therapy such as Phenyl-Free is the only known method of treatment.
In addition to the donated medicine, Bristol-Myers Squibb will sponsor an educational exchange on the diagnosis and treatment of PKU disease. Two Russian physicians, Dr. Alexander Baikov, head of the Moscow and Russian Centers for Neonatal Screening, and Dr. Anna Khatunova, the PKU specialist for the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, will visit Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC later this year. Dr. Owen Rennart, Chairman of Pediatrics at Georgetown University Children's Medical Center, will travel to Russia to conduct a symposium for 20 Russian PKU specialists in early 1996.
The initiative originated during a visit to the United States by President and Mrs. Yeltsin in the fall of 1994. Mrs. Clinton invited Mrs. Yeltsin and Dr. Kocherovets to visit Georgetown University Children's Medical Center and participate in a roundtable discussion with American doctors and health care professionals to discuss children's health issues in the U.S. and in Russia. During the visit, Mrs. Yeltsin discussed with Mrs. Clinton the many problems associated with PKU disease and treatment in Russia. Following the visit, Mrs. Clinton convened a meeting with executives from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Dr. Rennart to discuss ways to respond to Mrs. Yeltsin's concerns.
Bristol-Myers Squibb estimates that the donated medicine will care for 125 children for one year.