Be on the Alert for NeedyMeds Look-Alikes

Scam_alert_homeIt’s an unfortunate reality that there are people who seek to take advantage of those in need through dishonest means. In the medical field there are those offering treatments that can be unnecessary or harmful or selling counterfeit medications. Other websites claim to offer medication assistance or information for a fee, only to take the money without fulfilling any of their promises.

Some of these sites claim to be NeedyMeds or be otherwise associated with our organization.  Don’t be deceived—NeedyMeds will never charge users for our information or access to assistance programs.

 

There are warning signs to be aware of to avoid potential scams:

  1. The program makes outlandish promises. If something appears too good to be true, it likely is. For example, a site may claim it can get you any or all your medications for free. No site can have such wide-reaching relationships with all possible pharmaceutical companies to be able to offer such services.
  2. The program asks for checking account or banking information. We at NeedyMeds never ask for such information. An easy work-around is to always use a credit card (not a debit card) when paying fees; credit card companies can help if you are ripped off.
  3. If you can’t get a real person who is kind and compassionate on the phone, there is reason to be suspicious. Fast-talking salespeople are not interested in helping you—they are interested in your money.
  4. If a program won’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, then be cautious. For example, one site declared they gave part of their profits to a non-profit but would never say which non-profit.
  5. If a program’s fees are larger than those available from competitors, it is likely they are more interested in making a profit. Be sure to shop around and research the fees commonly associated with the services you require.
  6. If a program offers no physical address, be wary. Many companies use a post office box, but they should still have a physical location.
  7. If there are concerns, check with the Better Business Bureau. This is not a guarantee that the company is legitimate, but it can be a good indicator or can make you aware of complaints against the organization.
  8. Search the program or company name online. Make note of complaints or issues other users experienced.
  9. If a program asserts that you need a company to help you apply, they are being dishonest. Most Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (PAP) applications are sent by the patients directly to the program with no assistance from any company. There are also local organizations that offer application assistance for no fee.
  10. If a program claims to possess special knowledge or can get you medications faster, remember that all the information regarding assistance programs can be found for free on our site. It’s also important to know that PAPs do not give priority to applications sent by companies.

 

NeedyMeds was founded on the idea that information on programs that can help with the cost of medication and healthcare should be available in one easy-to-navigate spot on the web—for free. Consumers can find all the information on brand name and generic name prescription patient assistance programs, free/low-cost/sliding scale clinics, diagnosis-based assistance programs, state-sponsored programs and programs that help with prescription assistance applications on our website for no charge. If you are worried about being scammed, or want to be sure that you are getting access to free information on assistance programs, call our toll-free helpline at 800-503-6897.

 

We are here to help you get the medicines you need – and we never charge to help you.

HEALfundr: The Power to HEAL

Even with recent legislation making health care more accessible, Americans still need help paying for medical expenses. Despite having insurance coverage, 10 million Americans faced bills they were unable to pay in 2013.

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When options run low and eligibility requirements for assistance can be restrictive, many are turning to online crowdfunding.

Remaining popular for creative works, crowdfunding is a tool to collect donations using the Internet towards a larger single goal. In 2012, up to 30% of all crowdfunding campaigns were for social or medically related causes. The use of social media has connected those in need with those in their own personal networks and beyond that are able to help.

 

Earlier this year, NeedyMeds launched HEALfundr to take what we saw as the next logical step in medical crowdfunding. Our unique vision is one of secure, verified campaigns that take the hassle and stress of coordinating between incoming donations and outgoing bills as well granting donors the confidence their contribution is going to an essential need.

HEALfundrThe only eligibility requirements of HEALfundr are that you have legitimate medical expenses and are a resident of the United States or its territories—there are no limits on income level or insurance status. To verify campaigns, we require a letter from a diagnosing or attending doctor. In case we have questions, we ask for a release form allowing the doctor to discuss the patient’s healthcare with HEALfundr.

Sign up and campaign-creation are completely free, with only a small processing fee applied to donations—no one ever pays out of pocket for our services. All users who create a campaign that is approved get their own personal campaign page where they can share their story, post updates, and receive words of encouragement from donors. Bills are submitted to HEALfundr and paid directly with the crowd-raised funds as they are available.

 

For more information, watch a previously recorded webinar, visit the site, or contact Project Manager Evan O’Connor.

Resources for Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare disease – with only about 20,000 Americans diagnosed and 400,000 people with the disease worldwide. It is a bleeding disorder, which “results when the blood’s ability to form a clot at the site of blood vessel injury is impaired.” There are two types of hemophilia – A and B. Hemophilia A is more common. According to Hemophilia.org – “Hemophilia A, also called factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency or classic hemophilia, is a genetic disorder caused by missing or defective factor VIII, a clotting protein.”  Hemophilia B on the other hand, is “caused by missing or defective factor IX” which is also a clotting protein. Hemophilia has many symptoms, that are all related in that the patient’s blood does not clot properly causing them to bleed for longer. Some of the common symptoms include: nose bleeds, prolonged bleeding from minor cuts, blood in the urine or stool, and bruising easily, among others. There are a handful of different treatment options, the most popular being replacement therapy. From the Hemophilia Federation of America, “Hemophilia is treated by injecting the missing factor protein into the affected person’s vein. The injection makes the factor immediately available in the bloodstream and the body is able to activate it to continue the clotting cascade and stop the bleeding.”

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Finding Help

The first place to check for assistance would be the NeedyMeds Hemophilia Resource Page. On this page we list all of the programs available for Hemophilia drugs along with links to more resources and programs, along with informational links. The Patient Assistance Program listings have contact information, along with application forms, for each program. We recommend calling each program to discuss qualifications before applying.

 

42-pack81-021514-tmOn this page we also list links to a number of organizations dedicated to Hemophilia education, research, and advocacy. These organizations are:

 

In addition to the Hemophilia resource page, we also recommend checking our Hemophilia Diagnosis-Based Assistance listings. This page includes a list of programs, both national and state-specific, dedicated to hemophilia. There are currently 47 programs listed providing a variety of services including assistive technology, medical equipment, travel expenses, co-payments and more. We also recommend checking the Diagnosis-Based listings for Bleeding/Clotting Disorders, Blood Disorders, and Hemophilia Inhibitors.

 

We also have listings of over 50 camps for patients with Hemophilia. These camps are located all across the country, some are summer-camps while others run year round. There are also over 40 scholarships available specifically for students with hemophilia.

 

Know of any programs we missed? Leave us a message in the comments or send us a message at blog@needymeds.org!

 

Leukemia & Lymphoma Resources

In honor of Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month we are focusing this week’s blog post on resources for these two conditions. Leukemia is a type of blood cancer that is fairly common, with an estimated 48,610 new cases each year. From the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website, “Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, the spongy center of bones where our blood cells are formed. The disease develops when blood cells produced in the bone marrow grow out of control.” There are multiple types of Leukemia, some more common than others. The four most common types are named according to the type of cell that is affected, they are Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).  Lymphoma is similar to Leukemia in that it is a common type of blood cancer. From the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, “Lymphoma is the name for a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. The two main types are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
In 2013, about 731,277 people are living with lymphoma or are in remission (no sign of the disease). This number includes about 172,937 people with Hodgkin lymphoma and 558,340 people with NHL.” Hodgkin lymphoma is defined by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, named after the scientists who discovered them; these are larger cancerous cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, on the other hand, “represents a diverse group of diseases distinguished by the characteristics of the cancer cells associated with each disease type.”

 

What Help is Available for Leukemia?

Doctor shaking hand with patientThe first place to check for assistance is the NeedyMeds Leukemia Information Page. On this page we list what patient assistance programs are available for common Leukemia medications. These programs offer the medication at little-to-no cost to qualifying patients. Simply click the name of the medication to get information on the program – you will have to contact the program directly to apply. On this page we also link to four helpful and informative organizations – the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, DKMS Americas, the Leukemia Research Foundation, and Treatment Diaries. These resources provide a wealth of information on the disease, current treatments, and research. Additionally we recommend checking the Diagnosis-Based Assistance listings for Leukemia. Which has twelve national and state-specific programs that offer a variety of services to patients in need.

 

What Help is available for Lymphoma?

Again the best place to start would be the Lymphoma Resource page on the NeedyMeds site. This page is a collaborative effort with the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and like the Leukemia resource page it contains information on all available programs for Lymphoma drugs. On the right side of the page are a variety of links with information provided by the Lymphoma Research Foundation. In addition to the resource page we also have two national programs for Lymphoma on our Lymphoma Diagnosis-Based Assistance listings. These two programs offer financial assistance with child care, living expenses, co-pays, testing, and more.

For both Lymphoma and Leukemia we also recommend checking the Diagnosis-Based Assistance listings for Blood Disorders, Chronic, Serious or Life Threatening Illnesses, and Cancer. Between these three pages are over 150 national and state-specific programs offering a wide variety of assistance and services ranging from transportation and lodging to wigs, medical supplies, food, equipment, and more.  We also have a listing for one camp for children with Leukemia and two scholarships for students who have Leukemia or Lymphoma.

Know of a program we missed? Let us know in the comments or send us an e-mail at info@needymeds.org!

Resources for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a fairly common disorder, with nearly 60,000 people diagnosed in the United States every year. It is a progressive neurological disease that affects the body’s motor system. There are a variety of symptoms, from Parkinson’s Action Network, “The four primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination.”Currently the cause of Parkinson’s Disease is unknown and there is no cure, but according to Parkinson’s Action Network “scientists and researchers believe there to be both genetic and environmental factors.” While there is currently no cure, there are a variety of treatment options available.

 

Finding Help on NeedyMeds

The first place to look for assistance would be our Parkinson’s Disease Information Page which lists all of the programs available in one place. Here we list the drugs that are commonly prescribed for Parkinson’s Disease. Those that are in blue link to a Patient Assistance Program (PAP) listing for the drug. Patient Assistance Programs provide the medication at reduced or no cost to qualifying patients. To apply simply contact the program and request an application form. For more information on PAPs check our previous blog post here.

 

doctorvisit Along with Patient Assistance Program listings, the Parkinson’s Disease Information Page also has links to a number of organizations dedicated to Parkinson’s awareness, education, and research. These organizations include the National Parkinson Foundation, Parkinson’s Resource Organization, American Parkinson Disease Association, Parkinson’s Action Network, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and Treatment Diaries. We recommend exploring all of these pages to learn more about the disease and the people working hard to find a cure.

 

The next place to check would be our Diagnosis-Based Assistance Program listings page for Parkinson’s Disease. This page lists national and state-specific programs for Parkinson’s patients. These programs provide a variety of services ranging from medical supplies and equipment, to service animals, meals and co-pay assistance. Just click on the name of the program for more information, including eligibility guidelines, application process, and contact information. We also recommend checking the Diagnosis Based listings for Chronic, Serious or Life Threatening Illnesses for more similar programs that may be of assistance.

 

Know of any programs we missed? Leave us a message in the comments or send an e-mail to info@needymeds.org

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