Talk About Your Medicines To Make Sense of Your Meds

October has been observed as Talk About Your Medicines Month (TAYMM) for over 35 years. Started by the BeMedWise Program at NeedyMeds, the awareness month is an annual opportunity to spotlight safe medicine use with the goal of improved health outcomes. This year’s theme is Understanding Medicine Labels – Making sense of your meds. Confusion about when and how much of a medicine can take can make treatments less effective, cause serious side effects or drug interactions, and negatively affect adherence. Our goal is to empower patients to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks of the medications they are taking, and provide the tools they need to talk about their medicines.

When you are prescribed a drug, it’s important to carefully read the label and any other material given by the doctor or pharmacist to understand it to ensure your safety. All prescription medicine

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Abortions Are Essential Healthcare

Reproductive freedom is a civil right and abortion is an essential part of healthcare. Approximately one in five people capable of getting pregnant will have an abortion by age 30, and one in four by age 45. Multiple studies indicate that the inability to recieve abortion care places pregnant individuals further into poverty and harms their health as well as the wellbeing of their current and future children. Many people lack the means and access to decide whether to continue a pregnancy. Limits on federal funding for abortions cause significant harm to low-income people — particularly communities of color, LGTBQIA people, and residents of rural areas.

The ability to access abortion in a timely manner is critical to the health and safety of individuals seeking care. Delays in access increases the risk that a person may experience a medical complication and negatively impacts their social, emotional, and psychological well-being overall. Abortions later in pregnancy also cost more than procedures performed

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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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Blood Cancer Awareness: Leukemia and Lymphoma

September is National Blood Cancer Awareness Month, also known as Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month. Leukemia and lymphoma are types of cancer that can affect the bone marrow, blood cells, lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system

Someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with blood cancer every three minutes, with someone dying as a result every nine minutes. An estimated combined total of 186,400 people in the United States are expected to be diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma in 2021, leading to an estimated 57,750 deaths this year.

There are multiple types of leukemia, some more common than others. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) affects bone marrow and blood and has several subtypes that affect the type of treatment and likely outcomes, though will progress quickly if left untreated; acute myeloid leukemia (AML) affects cells that are not fully developed limiting their ability to carry out their normal functions, and can be difficult to treat; chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and chronic myeloid leukemia

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No End In Sight for COVID

It looks like COVID-19 will be with us for a while longer, probably many years if we continue the way we are going. 

Nationwide there is significant variation in both the COVID vaccination rate and the number of new COVID-19 cases. A recent increase in the number of cases, doubling or tripling in some areas, occurred in unvaccinated individuals due to the Delta variant. The Delta variant is currently the most contagious form and makes up 98.8% of new COVID cases. In response to this vaccinations have increased in some, though not all, areas. While the COVID infection rate is decreasing in areas with higher vaccination rates and the rate continues to increase in areas with lower vaccination rates, the overall rate may be leveling off for the moment.

When comparing COVID vaccination and infection rates, there seem to be two different Americas

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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.