Children going back to school and a cold wind starting to blow are signifiers of the impending cold and flu season. This year’s may seem particularly daunting due to exotic diseases appearing in the news and the spread of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) affecting hundreds of families throughout the United States. With all of this in mind, NeedyMeds wanted to give our readers some helpful tips to keep themselves and their children healthy, along with resources available for those in need.

  1. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow. This will reduce the spread of germs through touching objects or one’s face.
  2. Wash hands often, especially after blowing your nose or coughing. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) suggests washing using warm water and soap, and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds and drying with a single-use towel. Tell your children to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing—that takes about 20 seconds.
  3. Regularly disinfect common surfaces in your home that your family touches every day, including countertops, telephones, computers, faucets, and doorknobs.
  4. Ensure your family eats a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, gets plenty of rest, and exercises regularly. These steps will keep your immune system in prime shape to help fight off illness.
  5. Know the difference between a cold and the flu. The flu generally comes on strong with severe symptoms, including fever, sore throat, chills, body aches, cough, runny/stuffy nose, diarrhea, vomiting, headache and fatigue. Although colds can exhibit some of the same symptoms, they usually are not as severe and often do not last as long.
  6. It’s also important to know the difference between a cold and autumnal allergies. With the similarities in symptoms, it can be easy to self-medicate for the wrong condition.
    1. With a cold, you’re likely to wake up with a sore, painful throat. With allergies, the throat has more of an itch or tickle rather than soreness.
    2. Colds follow a relatively slow progression and last for a few days, whereas allergies can come on almost instantly, with symptoms of coughing, sneezing, and congestion striking all at once and can last as long as allergens are in the environment—sometimes a matter of hours, other times for weeks.
    3. Sneezing with itchy eyes or mouth are associated with allergies rather than colds.
    4. Fevers can appear with colds, but do not affect those suffering from allergies.
    5. It’s important to know you don’t have both a cold and allergies, as this can lead to chronic sinus problems if left untreated.
    The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu vaccine every season. Children younger than 2 years old, or children with health problems such as asthma, diabetes, or other chronic conditions are at the highest risk of severe complications of the flu and should get the flu shot. The best way to protect infants under 6 months old is to surround them with people who have been vaccinated. Stay home from school or work if you or your child are sick.

    Enterovirus D68

    EV-D68 presents similarly to a cold, with runny nose, sneezing and coughing, body and muscle aches, and occasional fever. Severe symptoms can include difficulty breathing, wheezing, and worsening of asthma. State and county Departments of Health say children diagnosed with EV-D68 or any other enterovirus should be excluded from school or daycare until symptom free, or until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication if a fever is present. Though there is risk of children catching the illness at

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It’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

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NeedyMeds has always been a leading resource for information on patient assistance programs to help cover the costs of brand name drugs. There are hundreds of programs providing free or low-cost brand name medication, but there is yet to be an assistance program to help with the cost of expensive generic drugs. It is a common misconception that generic medications are all inexpensive. The truth is that there are many that cost hundreds of dollars per year, and are essential to the health of many people. With the help of Rx Outreach, the largest non-profit pharmacy in the country, NeedyMeds is launching a first-of-its-kind generic medication assistance program, called GAP (Generic Assistance Program).

The Generic Assistance Program will offer nearly 20 generic medications at no cost to people who meet program eligibility guidelines. The guidelines include:

  • Must have no prescription coverage for needed medication
  • At or below 100% Federal Poverty Level
  • Must be US citizen, legal entrant, or have a work visa

NeedyMeds and Rx Outreach provided the initial funding for the program and have launched a crowdfunding campaign on

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           Autism is a common disorder, with 1 in 68 American children born somewhere on the autism spectrum.  From AutismSpeaks.org, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.”  The signs of autism are usually apparent when a child is between 2 and 3 years old.  Symptoms are different for everyone, according to autism-society.org. “Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills and sensory sensitivities.”  The cause of autism is still being researched and debated, although doctors generally agree that “There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function.”.  There are lots of programs available for children with autism and their families, ranging from summer camps to supplies and medications.

What

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By now, many of loyal users have probably noticed that we came out with a new website layout in January. We did not change the content of the website, but have updated the layout, navigation, resource names and descriptions. Above all, we did this to make it easier for you to find help you are looking for. Read on to learn about how we refreshed our look and how to find the same resources you’ve come to depend on in the past seventeen years.

How Did We Improve the Website? General Improvements:

— • Made it more intuitive for new users and regular users alike.

— • Reorganized categories of information to make it easier to quickly find the appropriate type of assistance.

— • Improved the descriptions of resources, making them clearer and easier to understand.

How else Did We Improve the Website? Some Specific Improvements to Look Out For:

—•  All of our resource links are now all along the top bar, rather than along the side and top.

—•  On our homepage we now have announcements, so you’ll never miss a thing, as well as a slider featuring some of our special services.

•—  The NeedyMeds drug discount card and

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