Consumers Union to get $4 million from AG's Neurontin settlement

By Chris Rizo | Apr 24, 2008

Hardy Myers

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)--Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers on Thursday announced that Consumers Union was receiving a grant of more than $4 million to help consumers make prescription drug choices.

The grant is funded by a $38 million consumer protection settlement between the attorneys general of 50 states and Warner-Lambert, now owned by Pfizer, over off-label marketing of Pfizer's pain and epilepsy medicine Neurontin.

Myers said the grant will enable the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports resources to provide consumers with "free and unbiased information when sorting through the confusing prescription drug market" through its Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs program.

The Web site provides information about prescription drugs used to treat 35 major medical illnesses and conditions.

"Millions of consumers either go without needed medications or pay high prices for their prescriptions because they don't know about effective, affordable alternatives," said CU president Jim Guest.

He added the grant "will help counter pervasive drug industry marketing that drives up health care costs."

The grant will be administered by the Oregon Department of Justice, the attorney general's office said.

"Many consumers find themselves confused and helpless when it comes to comparison shopping for prescription drugs," Myers said. "Consumers need objective information to help them make choices based on science and evidence rather than marketing and promotion."

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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