NeedyMeds is celebrating twenty years since starting as a website for those seeking assistance with the high-costs of prescription medications. In 1997, Richard Sagall, MD, and Libby Overly, MSW, MEd, both realized a need for a centralized resource for information on pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). Over our first ten years, we gained 501(3)(c) non-profit status, introduced our PAPTracker software for advocates helping patients with PAP applications, and started our first newsletter Patient Advocate News (now known as Patient Assistance News; aka PAN).
In 2007, we began to expand the website from more than just Patient Assistance Programs to include government programs and other application assistance providers. The following year we grew to include databases of free/low-cost/sliding-scale clinics, coupons for medications, and other organizations that provide diagnosis-based assistance. The NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card started in 2009, saving users $560,000 in its first year nationwide. To date, the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card has saved users over $214 million on prescribed medications. We later introduced the Drug Discount Card as a smartphone app, making it more easily accessible to those in need.
We launched the NeedyMeds Toll-free Helpline in 2013, making our information available to those without internet access, as well as this very blog. We now have several newsletters, sending out weekly and daily emails about the updates made to programs in our databases for subscribers.
We have grown from the beginnings of two people wanting to help patients with prescription costs to a staff of nearly 30 people, plus local volunteers in our office and volunteers across the country helping communities and presenting at conferences the many resources NeedyMeds has for all manner of healthcare related costs for those in need. Ideally, NeedyMeds’ services would not be necessary and people through the United States would be able to afford their healthcare without assistance; but so long as there are people in need we will be here as an information resource.
The NeedyMeds website has databases of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), Diagnosis-Based Assistance (DBAs), and Free/Low-cost/Sliding-scale Clinics to help those in need. The NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card can save users up to 80% off the cash price of prescription medications for those without insurance or choose to use the card instead of insurance. For more help finding information, call our toll-free helpline Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Eastern Time at 1-800-503-6897.