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Terry Goddard Awards Prescription Drug Education Grant to UA

(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 14, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the award of $387,949 to the University of Arizona Medical Center to create a prescription drug education program. UA is one of 24 recipients nationally that will receive more than $9 million to be distributed over the next two years. The grant money is part of a $430 million multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical company Warner Lambert.

The UA grant will fund a new curriculum for medical, pharmacy, public health and social behavioral science students that will train them to evaluate drug company representations about their products. The grant proposal was submitted by Dr. Raymond Woosley, a professor at the UA Medical School.

“This grant will teach future doctors, social workers and pharmacists how to independently evaluate the effectiveness of prescription drugs marketed by the pharmaceutical companies,” Goddard said. “This will make for a more efficient health care system in Arizona, and more importantly, better health care for Arizona residents.”

The 2004 multi-state settlement resolved allegations that Warner Lambert violated state consumer protection laws when promoting Neurontin, which treats epilepsy and nerve pain related to shingles, for off-label uses. The settlement involved all 50 states.

The settlement distribution included $28 million for a national remediation program that provides physicians with accurate information about Neurontin and other drugs in its therapeutic class. Another $10 million went directly to the states, including $278,000 to Arizona. The remaining settlement money went to reimburse state and federal health programs.

Attached is a copy of the list of recipients in the current round of grants.

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