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March 30, 2007

Billy Tauzin featured at 2007 William M. Bourn Lecture Series

Billy Tauzin, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, was the honored speaker at ULM’s 2007 William M. Bourn Lecture Series Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the ULM Student Union Ballroom.

Addressing the ULM students, pharmacy faculty, and pharmacy alums, Tauzin said, “I want you to know how critical the work you do is and how it can impact the lives of patients. If I had only had the council of a pharmacist for the OTC ibuprofen I was taking for pain, I might have not gotten cancer. You can be very influential in preventing disease. Keep this in your heart and head when you go to work daily.”

Tauzin discussed the pharmaceutical industry past, present and future. He was named president and chief executive officer of PhRMA in January 2005 and immediately took up two of the most important causes of his career: to help ensure patients everywhere continue to have access to the miracles of medicines, and to ensure that innovative biopharmaceutical research thrives, improving and saving lives. He knows firsthand what patients face as they search for hope, treatment and cures, having recently battled cancer himself.

He held a long and distinguished public service career, including 13 terms representing the people of the 3rd Congressional District of Louisiana. As a Member of Congress, he was called “knowledgeable and eloquent” by the Almanac of American Politics and “one of the House's savviest members” by National Journal Magazine.

Tauzin began his public service career in the Louisiana State Legislature where he served in a variety of distinguished posts such as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and Chief Administration Floor Leader. He was chosen twice as one of Louisiana's "Ten Best Legislators."

While in Congress, he held several leadership positions and has made an effort to promote a spirit of bipartisan cooperation on Capitol Hill. Until February 2004, he served as the Chairman of the influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over all interstate and foreign commerce, including energy, telecommunications, health care, biomedical research, consumer protection, the environment and travel and tourism.

During his tenure, he left his mark on issues ranging from natural gas, airline, trucking and electricity deregulation to the Clean Air Act, Superfund and the historic Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996. As chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, he helped President George W. Bush win passage of a Medicare prescription drug bill.

Over the years, Tauzin has been honored by such diverse groups as the Farm Bureau, National Federation of Independent Business, B'nai B'rith, Concord Coalition, Business Software Alliance, National Association of Manufacturers, Christian Coalition, Boy Scouts of America, National Association of Broadcasters, the 3rd Congressional District Black Caucus, and many more.

Billy Tauzin received a B.A. from Nicholls State University in 1964 and a law degree from Louisiana State University in 1967. He is married to Cecile Tauzin and has five children by a previous marriage.

A reception immediately followed the presentation.

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