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Getting the meds you need Special To The Star-news | Sat, Feb 12 2011 12:00 PM

Understanding your prescription drug choices just got easier, thanks to a free online tool launched by AARP, Consumer Reports Health and DestinationRx.

The Drug Savings Tool gives detailed information about the safety, effectiveness, convenience and price of your prescription drugs. For the drugs you enter into the Tool, the Drug Savings Tool produces a printable list of similar, less costly alternatives that may be available to you. The information comes from Consumer Reports Health Best Buy Drugs project, which bases all of its recommendations on independent, unbiased reviews of scientific evidence.

No one should rely solely on drug research results without taking into consideration individual circumstances and medical history. That's why AARP, Consumer Reports Health and DestinationRx strongly recommend people use the tool's printable reports on prescription drug alternatives as a starting point to have a conversation with their doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

"When it comes to your health, you have the right and responsibility to ask any question you like about how medications may affect your body and your life," said Cheryl Matheis, AARP senior vice president for health strategy. "The Drug Savings Tool makes it easier for you to have a meaningful discussion about the pros and cons of switching to a less expensive medicine."

You can find the Drug Savings Tool and more information all at one easy-to-use website, www.aarp.org/drugsavings.

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