Bruins Fan Raises Awareness to #BumpOutCancer

Last summer, we wrote about the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of the ALS Association. This year, a young FistBumpChallengeBruins fan’s viral video has launched a new awareness campaign. Liam Fitzgerald, 8 years old, was seen fist-bumping Boston Bruins players during their warm-up last November, and captured the hearts of hockey fans around the nation. In 2011, Liam “kicked cancer’s butt,” and is now working on raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with his own “Fist Bump Challenge.” Less bracing than a bucket of ice water, Liam’s campaign asks people to post pictures or videos of themselves fist bumping each other on social media and donating $5—$1 for each finger and thumb—and then nominating five more people to participate in the challenge.

 

Leukemia is a cancer that affects blood and bone marrow and develops when blood cells produced in the bone marrow grow out of control. It’s estimated that over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with leukemia every year and 24,000 die from the disease annually. Lymphoma is the name for a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Nearly 80,000 new cases of lymphoma are diagnosed in the US every year.

 

While donating to research into these cancers can help find an effective treatment or cure, NeedyMeds offers information on several programs that may be able to help those currently suffering and requiring assistance.  We have discussed resources for leukemia and lymphoma in a previous blog post. To refresh, NeedyMeds has Disease Information Pages for both leukemia and lymphoma with links to Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) for medications commonly prescribed for leukemia and lymphoma patients, offering them at low- or no cost. We also have Diagnosis-Based Assistance (DBA) pages leukemia and lymphoma. Additional assistance may also be found in our DBA page for all cancers. Visit our site or call NeedyMeds’ toll-free helpline (800-503-6897) for information.

Introducing $4 Generic Discount Drug Programs

Earlier this year, we announced a project we would be releasing in 2015. After months of work and research, we are now offering information on discount generic medications. These $4 Generic Discount Drug Programs offer 30- or 90-day supplies of prescribed generic medications for prices as low as $4-$15. With over 120 of these programs nationwide, this is the first time information for them is searchable and available in one place.

 

PharmacyUsing the new resource, one can search for prices for thousands of generic medications as well as programs in their area or national pharmacies such as Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens along with local and regional pharmacies. “Our goal at NeedyMeds is to provide all the purchasing options so individuals can find the best price for their medicines,” said Dr. Richard Sagall, president and co-founder of NeedyMeds. “This information complements our data on patient assistance programs, coupons, copay assistance programs and rebates.”

 

Part of NeedyMeds’ mission statement has always been to help people facing problems paying for medications and health care.  With the new information available on our site, we hope to help even more patients find an affordable solution. “We offer a great drug discount card which helps thousands of people save every day,” said Leah Zaroulis, the $4 Generic project’s lead researcher. “But our primary goal is to help people save by utilizing whichever program is best for them. If the best price is through a $4 program, then we want them to use it.”

 

The new area on our website can be found in the Patient Savings tab under Prescription Assistance. The Generic Discount Drug Program information can also be accessed by calling our toll-free helpline at 800-503-6897.

Resources for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

The National Institute of Cancer says that colorectal cancer is cancer that forms in the colon or rectum in both men and women. It is the third most common non-skin cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. To help raise awareness of this deadly but highly preventable disease, March has been designated Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

In February 2000, President Bill Clinton officially proclaimed March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Screening is the most effective way to reduce one’s risk of colorectal cancer; it is preventable and, if caught early, treatable. Risk increases with age, so people over 50 years old are encouraged to get screened. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a variety of tests, from a stool test once a year to a sigmoidoscopy every three to five years and/or colonoscopy every 10 years. Despite the risks, 1 in 3 adults ages 50-75 are still not getting screened as recommended. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking alcohol to excess and being smoke-free can also lower your risk for colorectal cancer.

 

With 140,000 Americans diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, it’s important to know the warning signs.  More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people over 50 years old and may not always be symptomatic, which is why screening is so important. Symptoms may include blood in the stool, stomach cramps or pains that do not go away, and inexplicable weight loss. Other factors may increase one’s risk, such as a family history of colorectal cancer or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease. A doctor may suggest screening before 50 years old if you are at high risk.

 

NeedyMeds’ Diagnosis-Based Assistance for Colorectal Cancer has information for national programs offering financial assistance as well as state programs offering testing for those at risk. Additionally, we have information on programs that provide assistance for those with any cancer diagnosis, such as travel expenses or medical supplies. Use our website to find assistance or call our toll-free helpline at 1-800-503-6897.

American Heart Month to Raise Awareness

February is American Heart Month. With over 67 million Americans with high blood pressure, one’s awareness can save lives.  High blood pressure can present with no symptoms, making it important to check regularly and to set a goal with their doctor if they find their BP is too high. People with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans.

 

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In a previous blog post we discussed heart health in young men, but it is equally important for women. High blood pressure, smoking, and high LDL cholesterol are key factors of heart disease, but other conditions such as diabetes or obesity also put people at a higher risk. To decrease your risk, don’t smoke, make healthy food choices, limit alcohol intake, lower your stress level and find healthy ways to cope with stress. If prescribed, be sure to take blood pressure medicine as directed.

 

NeedyMeds’ Disease Information Page for Heart Disease has information on the assistance available for those in need, including Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) that offer medications for low or no cost as well as Diagnosis-Based Assistance.  Assistance can also be found in our State Sponsored Programs, including the CDC’s WISEWOMAN program to provide low-income, under-insured/uninsured women with chronic risk blood pressure and cholesterol screenings. Use our website to find assistance or call our toll-free helpline at 1-800-503-6897.

Skipping Prescriptions Due to Costs

A new study from the National Center for Health Statistics has found that 8% of Americans don’t take their medicines as prescribed because they cannot afford them.  Nearly 20% of prescriptions never get filled. Approximately 15% of respondents reported asking their doctors for a lower-cost alternative, and 2% admitted to having bought prescription drugs from another country.  With 82% of Americans being prescribed at least one prescription medication, the numbers can become alarming for anyone.

 

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In previous blog posts we have discussed the lengths people will go to save money, such as spending less ongroceries or entertainment, relying more on credit cards, postponing paying other bills, or applying for government assistance.  Others took more dangerous measures, such as putting off a doctor’s visit, declining a test, delaying a procedure, or cutting dosages without first talking to a doctor or pharmacist.

 

No one should have to sacrifice their health due to a lack in finances. For those unable to afford their medications, NeedyMeds has an extensive database of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). NeedyMeds also has information on Coupons and Rebates that can help lower the cost of necessary medications. For those without any prescription coverage, the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card saves 0-80% on any prescribed medication. A plastic card can be ordered online or requested by calling our toll-free helpline at 800-503-6897, or a printable version can be found on our website as well as a smartphone app on Apple and Android devices. If you would like to add your voice to those calling for affordable medicines for all, sign the Access Our Medicine declaration.

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