WASHINGTON - Directors of the two Washington-based trade associations representing U.S. biotech and pharmaceutical companies met last week to lay out their strategies for 1999, putting reimbursement issues on the front burner but deferring action on the Hatch-Waxman generic drug law.

Reimbursement, particularly concerns about congressional support for imposing some form of price controls on prescription drugs for Medicare patients, is a high priority for both the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).