SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna will be in Spokane on Friday to award a $15,000 grant to Prescriptions for Life, a local nonprofit organization working to eliminate prescription drug abuse. The money, which comes from a settlement with the maker of OxyContin, will help pay for a new educational video that will be shown to students, teachers, school counselors, law enforcement, medical professionals and civic and business leaders.
WHO: Attorney General Rob McKenna
Jerry Pugh, Interim Director, Prescriptions for Life
WHEN: 8:45 – 9 a.m.
Friday, May 30, 2008
WHERE: Attorney General’s Office
1116 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane
Please check in at reception. Event will be held in the office law library.
WHY: Attorneys general for Washington, 25 other states and the District of Columbia reached a $19.5 million consumer protection settlement last year with Purdue Pharma. The states alleged the company aggressively marketed its painkiller OxyContin to doctors while downplaying the risk of addiction. Washington received $719,500 from the agreement, a portion of which is now being awarded to drug prevention programs.
Prescriptions for Life, based in Chewelah, was formed in 2006 by the parents of a teenage girl who nearly died as a result of prescription pain medication abuse. The nonprofit organization operates under the umbrella of the Southern Stevens County Health Care Association. Its members include doctors, pharmacists, educators, school administrators, law enforcement representatives, counselors, business owners, community leaders and concerned citizens.
The group is working to educate the public, especially parents and children, about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and to provide pain medication monitoring and treatment options.
In its grant application, Prescriptions for Life cites research that shows the number of deaths linked to prescription opiates in Washington rose from 45 in 1995 to 411 in 2004. The City of Spokane reported 48 medication-related deaths in 2004, the highest rate per population in the state.
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Media Contacts: Kristin Alexander, Attorney General’s Office, (206) 464-6432
Jerry Pugh, Prescriptions for Life, (509) 685-6800 ext. 4001