Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced an additional $3.3 million grant to extend the Best Buy Drug Program, an initiative of Consumers Union that provides free, non-biased and straightforward information to help consumers make safe and effective prescription drug choices.

"For consumers of all ages, wading through hard to understand information about a drug's side effects, as well as complicated price comparison information, can be a confusing process. Best Buy Drugs is a great resource for consumers to get unbiased information that helps them make educated decisions with their doctor," said Attorney General Rosenblum. "Oregon has been successful in prosecuting drug companies that deceptively promote prescription drugs, and we will continue to make sure Oregonians get access to the most accurate information."

This three-year grant extension is a continuation of a grant funded from the 2008 settlement of a consumer protection case related to the promotion of the drug Neurontin.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugsā„¢ (www.CRBestBuyDrugs.org) program has remained an independent voice for consumers looking for recommendations and information on prescription drugs. For the past several years, the program has helped consumers make better prescription drug choices by providing them unbiased, consumer-friendly recommendations based on the evidence of effectiveness, safety and cost of prescription drugs. The program has reached millions of diverse consumers through Spanish language translations, easy to understand summaries and other easily accessible tools. To find more information on the program visit:  www.consumersunion.org.

"The extension of the Attorneys' General grant will help the Consumer Reports' Best Buy Drug program continue its work to show consumers the effectiveness, safety and cost of medications, help people understand all their options, and talk openly with their healthcare providers to make informed choices about their treatments," said Jim Guest, President of Consumers Union.

The original Best Buy Drug grant was funded through a grant program established by the $38 million consumer protection settlement in May, 2004. The settlement was organized and co-led by Oregon, between the Attorneys General of 50 states and Warner-Lambert, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer. At the time, the Attorneys' General settlement earmarked funds for consumer education, advertising, and grants to give consumers balanced information when making decisions about prescription drugs.

Oregon has served as the contracting state responsible for executing contracts with grantees on behalf of the overall program. Attorney General Rosenblum, a member of the Special Committee that decides which organizations receives the grants, also serves as the grant contractor and holds all settlement funds in a trust on behalf of other states.

Attorney General Rosenblum commended Assistant Attorney General David Hart, who handles the Department of Justice's pharmaceutical fraud cases for his efforts on behalf of Oregon consumers.

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