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Prescription Drug Help

Blue PillsThe cost of prescription drugs continues to increase faster than the general rate of inflation, wage growth and even the medical rate of inflation. 

All too often prescription decisions are based on drug company advertised benefits instead of independent, scientifically valid evidence.  Fortunately, Oregon and 15 other states have come together to compare the effectiveness of drugs. Their research is independent, totally free from commercial interest.  They examine every report produced on the effectiveness of drugs, and exclude those that they believe are not based on sound science. The Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP) reports run into hundreds of pages. And while they are a great resource for doctors, they are generally too technical for most consumers. 

Consumer Reports takes these highly technical reports and turns them into understandable recommendations consumers can use to discuss with their physician which drug is best suited for them. See Consumer Report's Best Buy Drugs™.  The table below shows the 18 classes of drugs for which Consumer Reports has made recommendations.  Find a class of drug, cholesterol lowering drugs for example, and get Best Buy’s recommendations for drugs that will help you lower cholesterol by 30 percent or more or a recommendation on a drug for people who need to only lower their cholesterol by less than 30 percent.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs™*

Drug Class 2 Page
Treating High Blood Pressure    
ACE Inhibitors
Calcium channel blockers
Treating Pain    
Pain and treating osteoarthritis (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs)
Treating lower back pain (NSAIDs)
Treating chronic pain (opioids)
Treating Other Conditions    
Cholesterol lowering drugs (statins)
Diabetes drugs
Treating heartburn, ulcers, and stomach acid reflux (proton pump inhibitors)
Treating asthma and chronic lung disease (inhaled steroids)
Relieving the symptoms of menopause
Blood thinners for treating heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (antiplatelets)
Treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Treating overactive bladder
Treating Insomnia – the newer sedative drugs
Evaluating the drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease
Treating migraine headaches (triptans)
Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Treating allergies, hay fever, and hives (antihistamines)
Treating bipolar disorder, nerve pain and fibromyalgia (anticonvulsants)
Treating enlarged prostate

Please note that Consumer Reports only makes recommendations. Your doctor may have legitimate reasons for prescribing a different medication. Some experts disagree with some of the recommendations of Consumer Report's Best Buy Drugs™. For example, The People’s Pharmacy, another great source of information on prescription drugs, report a high number of adverse reactions to the generic version of Wellbutrin, which is taken as an antidepressant and is a Best Buy recommendation.  Also keep in mind that the drug prices of of Consumer Report's Best Buy Drugs™ are based on national data.  Your actual cost may be different.  But this is great resource and one that West Virginians, with the highest per person expenditure on prescription drugs, should use. 

*Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs™ is a free, independently funded public education project of Consumers Union of United States, Inc., the publisher of Consumer Reports® magazine. West Virginians for Affordable Health Care is providing these links under a non-exclusive arrangement with Consumers Union. Consumers Union is not affiliated with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.