We have had various blog posts about the importance of medication adherence. The subject remains important as researchers find 20-30% of prescriptions are never filled and half of all people do not follow their drug instructions.  With a wide variety of factors contributing to patients not following through a treatment as directed, it can have a serious impact on one’s health and finances.

People have many reasons for medication non-adherence. Confusion can be a factor, whether in relation to multiple prescriptions or unclear doctor’s orders.  Other patients don’t take medicine to avoid side effects. Cost is an obvious factor for those unable to afford their prescriptions. Not following drug regimens can result in needless hospitalizations and emergency room visits, which can cost much more than the skipped medication. Research shows as much as $289 billion is spent on avoidable hospital trips annually for people who don’t follow their prescription regimens. It is estimated that as many people die from medication non-adherence as from strokes each year.

Some organizations have devised

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We’re wrapping up 2014 here at NeedyMeds, and it’s been a big year for us. We have kept true to our original mission to provide information on programs that help people who can’t afford medications and healthcare costs, and have expanded in the interest of offering more direct assistance to those in need.

The year started with a redesign of our website. Later that January, we launched a unique crowdfunding platform called HEALfundr. Using HEALfundr, people can raise funds for verified medical expenses that will be paid directly with the crowd-raised funds. HEALfundr is the only crowdfunding platform to verify campaigns and pay bills directly, giving confidence to donors that they will not be victimized by fraud and relieving the stress of handling incoming and outgoing funds for those in need.

This past May we released a new web-based tutorial for those looking to learn how to find help for patients facing problems affording their medicine or other healthcare costs called Patient

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All About PARE

In last week’s blog post we looked at what resources we have available for Patient Advocates. This week we would like to go a step further and introduce our latest resource for advocates – Patient Assistance Resource Education (PARE). The purpose of PARE is to educate healthcare professionals on how to best utilize NeedyMeds to serve their patients. Advocates and medical office staff complete a web-based and self-paced course that goes in-depth into all of our databases and resources. After completing PARE, advocates will be able to navigate the often confusing and complex world of patient assistance.

One of the primary lessons is on Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). We currently list PAPs for over 4,381 drugs on NeedyMeds.org. However, many people are unaware of how to apply to a program, and how the programs actually work. Every PAP is different, with different eligibility requirements. Using PARE, advocates and medical professionals will learn how to use NeedyMeds to find and enroll their patients in these programs.

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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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Treatment and other diabetes-related costs can be expensive.   According to the American Diabetes Association the total costs of diagnosed diabetes was  $245 billion in 2012, with $176 billion in direct medical costs.  “People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which about $7,900 is attributed to diabetes. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.”

Here are 5 ways available to find help with these costs on the NeedyMeds website.

1.     Apply for free or reduced prescription medications through a Patient Assistance Program (PAP).
How they work:

→ PAPs are run by pharmaceutical companies and provide free or discounted medicines to those who qualify.

→ Eligibility and application requirements vary from program to program, usually based on income and insurance.

How to find them:

→ To find out if there’s a PAP available for your medication, click on the Brand Name Drugs or Generic Name Drugs links and look up your medication alphabetically.

→ If you do find your medication, click on it and you will be able to look over any assistance programs that are available for that medication.

How to get enrolled:

→ Most PAPs require that you fill out an application,

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