Attorney General Hardy Myers will open a "first of its kind" conference Monday, December 4, 2006 in Portland for representatives of 29 institutions from throughout the United States. The conferees received grants totaling approximately $11 million as part of a program created in 2004 under the $38 million settlement between all 50 Attorneys General and Warner Lambert, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc., the world's largest pharmaceutical company.
As a result of the settlement, a Special Committee of eight states including Oregon created the Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Grant Program and contracted with the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health and Science University to be its administrator. Former Oregon Governor and now Center Director John Kitzhaber will address the conference participants Tuesday.
The conference will be held December 4 - 5 in Portland's Hotel Deluxe, 729 SW 15th Avenue, with the Dec. 4 morning presentations open to the public. A complete conference agenda and list of the grantees is attached.
The 2004 agreement resolved allegations by the states that Warner Lambert violated state consumer protection law when marketing Neurontin, a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of epilepsy and neuralgia. The states alleged among other things that the company promoted Neurontin for the treatment of bipolar disease despite the absence of controlled clinical studies supporting this indication.
Attorney General Myers co-lead the Neurontin investigation and currently acts as trustee and grantor for the $21 million Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant program. In the initial selection of 24 grantees for funding under the program, two Oregon organizations were selected. The Portland Veterans Hospital in conjunction with the Oregon Health & Science University and the Oregon Health Policy and Research program in partnership with an Oregon State University College of Pharmacy program received approximately $750,000 in grant money from the approximately $11 million.
The purpose of these grants is to educate health care professionals about pharmaceutical industry marketing practices and to provide strategies for accessing unbiased sources of information about drugs. The first round of AGGP grants focused on health care professionals and the second round that was announced in November focused on consumers.
Myers and other Attorneys General also issued a Request for Applications for $6.5 million for national consumer education programs on the prescribing, marketing and purchasing of prescription drugs. Eligible applicants include governmental entities; academic institutions; and not-for-profit organizations.
The Request for Application for the consumer education grants may be found at the Oregon Attorney General's website, www.doj.state.or.us; at the Program Grant Administrator's website at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, www.ohsu.edu/cpgp; and at the website of the National Association of Attorneys General, www.naag.org.
Additional information is available by contacting John Santa, program grant administrator, at (503) 494-3094. Submission deadline for the next round of grants is January 15, 2007.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org