by Andrea Baer, MS, Director of Patient Advocacy and Program Management at Mended Hearts

“I have been where you are, I know how you feel” – That’s a powerful statement. The sense of connectiveness and bonding that can happen is soothing, and often a key to successful recovery. Individuals who are going through a medical crisis or learning to change their lifestyle can find success in these connections. When my son was born in 2009 with a congenital heart defect, I was scared, alone and feared our future. I was given lots of medical information from healthcare professionals, but what I lacked was the everyday “how am I going to get through this” answer. Questions from formula, or sleep, or what to pack for surgery. My questions were never-ending. The first person who reached out to me and said those words: “I know how you feel, I’ve been there,” changed my entire thought process and set us up for success. Nine years later, I still benefit from this community. I give advice sometimes, and sometimes I need advice.

According to author Charles Duhigg, a movement starts because of the social habits of friendships

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Health care in America was a constant subject of conversations in public venues and political forums in 2017. There has been confusion about health insurance, failed legislation, Executive Orders reversing Obamacare guidelines, tax plans affecting healthcare costs, and the failure to fund healthcare programs that cover millions of low-income Americans. People in the United States continue to count healthcare costs as a major concern.

We at NeedyMeds prefer to remain apolitical, but it is difficult to avoid the partisan nature of the changes in health care in America since the Trump administration’s inauguration last year. Donald Trump ran on the platform of repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA; Obamacare), saying it would be “so easy.” He claimed his Obamacare replacement would have “insurance for everybody” and that “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” In practice, all “Trumpcare” bills failed to pass through Congress due

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We’re wrapping up 2017 here at NeedyMeds, and it’s been a big year for us. We celebrated twenty years of providing information to those in need and we have kept true to our original mission to provide information on programs that help people who can’t afford medications and healthcare costs.

We have helped over 57,000 on our toll-free helpline in 2017, and saved users over $44 million on their prescriptions with the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card. This year we began a new partnership with Healthcare Storylines to bring you the NeedyMeds Storylines app—a free self-care smartphone app that makes it easy to track your healthcare including medication reminders, appointment calendar, daily mood tracker, and a digital copy of the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card.

We presented over 50 online webinars this year, ranging from an overview to our website to special topics about mental health, being your own healthcare advocate, and countless others with some of our very special partners. You can see a list of all our upcoming 2018 webinars on our Webinars page.

NeedyMeds has grown from humble beginnings of two people

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Last summer the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) launched a campaign to raise awareness of counterfeit drugs from foreign online pharmacies.  This year, they have drafted a letter to the U.S. Congress to encourage them to oppose proposals that allow American consumers to buy Health Canada-approved medication from “legitimate” Canadian online pharmacies.

Buying medications from other countries has been an idea proposed to combat the high cost of prescriptions in the United States. Starting in 1999 politicians began filling buses with senior constituents and driving them to Canada, starting with then-Representative Bernie Sanders from Vermont. The seniors would travel with prescriptions written by American doctors; once in Canada, a Canadian doctor would rewrite the prescription and then have it filled at a Canadian pharmacy at a fraction of the U.S. cost. One woman’s breast cancer drug, which cost $110 for a one-month supply in Maine, could be bought in Canada for only $12.

Since the advent of the internet, the process to get prescriptions from across the Canadian border has become seemingly easier but

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Almost two years ago, the Ice Bucket Challenge filled social media feeds with videos and ALS research with donations.  The Challenge prompted athletes, celebrities, Internet personalities, and everyday people to post a video and donate to ALS research.  This year, funds raised from the Challenge are being credited with allowing researchers to identify a common gene found to contribute to the disease.

ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the function of nerves and muscles that eventually leads to a wasting paralysis.  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis affects 30,000 Americans with the condition at any given time, and 5600 are newly diagnosed each year. ALS kills an average of two out of every 100,000 people annually.

With the help of millions raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge a global gene sequencing project called Project MinE has taken a huge step in finding a common gene that is responsible for ALS.  The project sequenced

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