Category: Prescription Drugs

Be Careful Where You Click

Online Pharmacy 101: What You Need to Know

The Problem

Consumers of all ages are just a click away from Illegal online drug sellers that peddle dangerous products in violation of US law.

Despite the existence of many safe online pharmacies that adhere to laws and safety standards, the Internet has opened the door to thousands of criminal Internet sites.  At any one time there are approximately 35,000-50,000 active online drug sellers, 97% of which do not comply with U.S. laws, putting patients at risk.[1]  Illegal online “pharmacy” operations are big business, the largest of which generate millions in sales each month.[2]

Implications for Your Health

Patients are just a click away from “medicines” sold online that may – at best – not provide the desired healing benefits, and at worst harm or even kill them. Illegal online drug sellers may appear legitimate and safe – using flashy websites with pictures of friendly looking “doctors” – but the vast majority actually endangers patients.  These drug sellers often peddle prescription drugs without a prescription, sell counterfeit or otherwise illegitimate products,

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What Is A Specialty Pharmacy And How Can One Help Me?

By Brenda Hawkes, Patient Advocacy Manager, and Justine Dolorfino, Social Media Specialist & Communications at Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy

If you have a prescription to treat a serious disease or condition such as HIV, psoriasis, or cancer, chances are that you get your medications through a specialty pharmacy. You may have wondered what the ‘specialty’ in the title means and why that makes a difference.  We can help explain that here.

What Is A Specialty Pharmacy?

Specialty pharmacy is a branch of pharmacy care that helps people with special and often long-term needs. These people include those with conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis or HIV, as well as people with fertility issues or who’ve received a transplant. Specialty pharmacy care allows people to continue leading lives outside a hospital, with better outcomes and lower overall costs.

To treat these diseases and conditions, specialty pharmacies focus on specialty and limited-distribution drugs, which require special handling, storage, and dosing.  These treatments are often expensive, and typically, they’re offered only at specialty

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New Ways Criminals are Trying to Prey on American Consumers

Educated patients have known for years that randomly buying their medications from websites they find on Google can be dangerous.  The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recently surveyed online pharmacies and found that 97% of them aren’t safe for Americans to order their medication from.

Additionally, the past two years has seen an influx of counterfeits into the United States as fake drug wholesalers have begun bombarding small clinics and physicians with direct sales tactics promising unrealistic discounts.   Three separate shipments of a fake version of a cancer drug have been found in the United States in the last two years.  It is not known how many patients received fake treatments due to this criminal ring.

How patients can stay safe

Use a discount card such as that from NeedyMeds

We know that patients often go looking for medication from unsafe sources when they’re trying to save money.  Working with NeedyMeds and their Patient Assistance Program listings and drug discount card is a best, first step to saving money safely. 

Comparison shop for prices, even on generic medication

PSM also recommend using mobile

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New Tool, Approach for Consumers to Find Lower-priced Healthcare

There are a lot of people concerned about their healthcare costs in the U.S.  I’m certainly one of them.  My family gets hit unexpectedly like any other, and we have our own recurring medical bills to deal with.  Since I realized a few years ago that I could save upwards of one to two thousand dollars a year in medical expenses, I’ve made a habit of reviewing my medical bills much more closely.  This can take hours upon hours on the phone and researching of medical codes and jargon—far from a simple process.

But what can you end up saving by comparing costs?   Multiple case studies have shown that the difference between the low and high price is often a factor of 5 to 15 times.   For San Francisco (the first metro area we have significant data for) you can pay as little as $149 or up to $833 (cash rate) for an ultrasound during pregnancy.  For those who don’t ask, or for whatever reason don’t get the uninsured or cash discount, the amount could go as high as $1,733.  Several imaging and lab work procedures have a much greater disparity.

The problem is finding prices to compare. In California, hospitals are

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Double Check, Don’t Double Up on Medicines Containing Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the U.S. and is found in more than 600 different prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, including pain relievers, fever reducers, and sleep aids as well as cough, cold, and allergy medicines. It is safe and effective when used as directed, but taking more than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.

Research recently conducted by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance) found that more than half of Hispanic consumers are not aware of any health risks associated with taking too much acetaminophen, and do not check their medicine labels to see if their medicine contains acetaminophen.

That’s why NeedyMeds is partnering with the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition’s Know Your Dose Campaign to get the word out.

Here are four important steps to follow when taking any over-the-counter or prescription medicines:

1)     Always read and follow the labels on your medicines;

2)     Know if your medicine contains acetaminophen;

3)     Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time; and

4)     Always ask your healthcare

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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.