Author: Richard Sagall

I’m Running Out of Sympathy

Every day I read stories on the Internet and in the newspaper of the deaths of previously healthy people who died of COVID-19. They were good people, caring parents, working people who seemed like responsible citizens. What they all shared was not being immunized against COVID-19. 

Maybe they were just “vaccine hesitant” — one of those who wasn’t convinced of the value and safety of the vaccines. Maybe they didn’t understand the true implications, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say the lack of implications, of an “emergency use authorization” by the FDA rather than a full approval. 

Perhaps they believed they were healthy enough that they didn’t need the vaccination. They harbored the belief that their immune system was functioning well. After all, they felt they were healthy, exercised regularly, and took supplements.

Maybe the possible side effects of the vaccine were what discouraged the vaccine-hesitant. Most people who receive the vaccine have no

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How You Can Help NeedyMeds

Every day, people ask how they can help NeedyMeds. Usually they have used the website or called the helpline to find assistance with their medical costs, or maybe they used our information to lower their parent’s drug costs.

Here are four things you can do to help us help you and earn our everlasting gratitude.

  1. Spread the Word

Even though 10,000 to 15,000 people visit our website every workday, more need to know about NeedyMeds. Even though our toll-free helpline helps 4,000-6,000 callers every month, we want to help more!

The best recommendation we can get — the thing that convinces people to check out our website — is a personal recommendation from a family member or friend who used NeedyMeds. This can help to increase our number of people we can help.

If you have used the website or helpline, please tell your friends, family, doctor, or anyone else who might benefit from the information we have. 

  1. Help Us Add More Programs

At last count, we had around 30,000 programs listed on our website. I know that sounds like a lot of programs — and it is. However, we know there are many more programs we don’t know about. But maybe you

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Seven Secrets to Medication Savings

Anyone looking to save on medication costs, and that is probably you if you are reading this article, has seen the same methods listed in article after article. They include shopping around for the best price, switching to generics, splitting pills, applying to assistance programs, using a drug discount card or copay cards, etc. 

I’ll explain some different ways to save you may not have seen before. They may be a little more complex than the methods listed above – and may require some conversations with your prescriber or pharmacist. In addition to the cost savings these methods will provide, they will also give you better understanding of your treatments and the medicines you take.

1. Treating the Symptom or Treating the Cause

When you are sick and feeling miserable, you want one thing – to feel better. Your healthcare provider may give you a medicine that lessens your symptoms – called symptomatic treatment. Examples include an antihistamine or a decongestant which may help with the runny or congested nose of a cold, an anti-diarrheal medicine may help with the runs associated with a stomach bug or an anti-itch medicine

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Affording Your Meds with Patient Assistant Programs

by Richard Sagall, MD

It’s a choice no one should have to make – pay rent and buy food or get prescriptions filled. Yet all too often it’s a choice Americans, particularly working-age Americans, have to make.

Nearly 28 million Americans have no health insurance, and millions more have limited coverage. Many Americans just can’t afford healthcare, and, if they can, they don’t have the money to buy their medicines.

Prescription Assistance Programs

There is help available for many people who can’t afford their medicines. These programs, frequently called prescription assistance programs (PAPs) or patient assistance programs, are designed to help those in need obtain their medicines at no cost or very low cost.

Many, but not all, pharmaceutical companies have PAPs. The manufacturers who have programs do so for various reasons. Some believe that they have a social obligation to help those who can’t afford their products. Others believe it’s a good marketing tool. As one PAP director once told me, many people who can’t afford their medicines now will go on to obtain some type of coverage. And when they do get this

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Unregulated Drugs a Hazard to Poor and Elderly Patients

As children grow up, they learn an important lesson: when you are sick, taking medicine usually helps you feel better in a reasonably short time. That acquired knowledge has helped generations of kids suck down foul-tasting cough medicine and other remedies.

In fact, “taking your medicine” has become cultural shorthand for doing something that may be unpleasant in the short run, but benefits one over the long term. This is certainly aided by the fact the United States has one of the safest drug supplies in the world; when you take a medication in America, you can count on it not only helping you feel better, but being safe for consumption.

Except when you can’t.

Illegal, unregulated pharmacies have become more prominent in recent years. Advertising and selling largely over the Internet, these criminal enterprises developed a niche selling medication to patients at cheap prices found nowhere else. But these savings come with a price: the drugs are often counterfeit, and are sometimes laced with dangerous substances. Antifreeze, road paint and rat poison have all been found in these discount fake medicines, and the National Association

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.