In a previous guest post, Alison Lawton of the Access Our Medicine Initiative wrote on the importance of affordable medications and AOM’s goal to reach 100,000 signatures for their Access Our Medicine Declaration. Having achieved their goal, they are now planning a worldwide Thunderclap of awareness.

When we launched the Access Our Medicine Initiative on World Health Day last year I didn’t know if anyone would respond.

We knew that the price of medicine was rising for life-changing medicines with devastating consequences for everyone, around the globe. We learned of people choosing between food and medicine, being pushed into poverty and even dying because they couldn’t afford medicine they needed.

But I also knew that for many people the issue of access to affordable medicine just isn’t top of mind until they or their loved ones become sick. By then its too late – who has energy to talk about ways to improve the system and make medicine affordable at the moment when the priority is on advocating health for themselves or their friends and family?

And yet, the response has been overwhelming. People

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Medicines can only work in patients who can take them. If we have medicines today to treat people and they can’t access them, then we have to make changes. That’s why we launched the Access Our Medicine Initiative.

The Access Our Medicine Initiative launched in April 2014 inviting people to sign an online declaration with a simple statement – that everyone should have access to affordable medicine. Since then, over 75,000 people from 160 countries and a diverse range of organizations representing more than 400 million people have signed the Declaration at www.accessourmedicine.com.

Why are so many people interested?

Even with the Affordable Care Act, over 30 million Americans will not be able to afford their medicine. People are making sacrifices for their medicine, or are risking their health by sacrificing their medicine. Nobody should have to choose between filling prescriptions and buying groceries.

As part of the Access Our Medicine Initiative, we want to support critical organizations such as NeedyMeds offering immediate support to those patients and families needing access to medicine. I’m grateful to have NeedyMeds’

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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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