Consumer Reports is using giant jogging pills on treadmills in order to announce its launch of a public campaign in support of comparative effectiveness research to urge policy makers to get behind the effort to provide doctors and patients with independent comparisons of different treatments for medical conditions.The interactive display is set up in Washington’s Union Station today where CU is running some medications through vigorous testing.

While patients have spent about $286 billion on prescription drugs in 2007 alone, about 75 percent of it on brand-name products, drug makers spent about $5.4 billion in 2007 on advertising medicines.  The companies also spend about $15 to $20 billion annually on trade journal advertising and other outreach including in-person sales calls, professional symposia and gifts to spread their message to doctors, pharmacists, benefit managers, and others.

You can stop by and pick up a copy of their latest publication, Best Drugs for Less or learn about Best Drugs for Less online. Best Drugs for Less is supposed to provide “unbiased, independent evaluations to help people choose medicines that are safe, effective, and affordable.”  The magazine is aimed at helping patients and doctors cut through the clutter of drug advertising so they can make informed decisions about their medications.

You can also check out their list of 10 ways to reduce your drug costs.

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