Drug prices continue to be a major concern for Americans.  According to a Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll published today, 77% of those surveyed said medication costs were their number one health concern, reflecting recent headline-making increases.  Furthermore, 63% support government action to lower prescription drug costs as a top priority. Compared to a study by the same organization from August, the results are largely the same with notably increased support of government intervention.

The United States is the only developed nation that allows drug makers to set their own prices. Throughout Europe, Canada, and Australia, governments negotiate the price of drugs with pharmaceutical companies in the name of public interest.  The United Kingdom, for example, negotiates through the National Institute of Clinical Evaluation (NICE). NICE researches and analyzes new drugs, procedures, and devices and tells the manufacturers the price the UK is willing to pay. These practices make life-saving healthcare affordable to all those who need it in their countries.

In the US, pharmaceutical companies set the price

Read more

Some Americans are making sacrifices and taking risks to afford their meds

 

Rising drug prices have become a public health crisis, forcing too many Americans into making some tough choices. In a recent Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs’ poll of 1,037 U.S. adults who currently take a prescription medication, one third said they were hit with higher drug prices at the pharmacy counter in the past year. And while the average increase was $39 extra out-of-pocket, one in 10 reported paying $100 or more over what they’d previously paid. Those higher prices led nearly 40 percent of people to take potentially harmful risks with their medication in order to curb costs, including skipping filling a prescription, skipping a dosage, cutting pills in half without a doctor or pharmacist’s OK, and even taking expired meds.

While people facing unexpected high costs were more than twice as likely to avoid seeing their doctor or forego a medical procedure than those who didn’t, the financial setbacks affected more than their health. Perhaps the most troubling cutback: A third (32 percent) of poll respondents paying higher prices said

Read more

Even with recent legislation making health care more accessible, Americans still need help paying for medical expenses. Despite having insurance coverage, 10 million Americans faced bills they were unable to pay in 2013.

When options run low and eligibility requirements for assistance can be restrictive, many are turning to online crowdfunding.

Remaining popular for creative works, crowdfunding is a tool to collect donations using the Internet towards a larger single goal. In 2012, up to 30% of all crowdfunding campaigns were for social or medically related causes. The use of social media has connected those in need with those in their own personal networks and beyond that are able to help.

Earlier this year, NeedyMeds launched HEALfundr to take what we saw as the next logical step in medical crowdfunding. Our unique vision is one of secure, verified campaigns that take the hassle and stress of coordinating between incoming donations and outgoing bills as well granting donors the confidence their contribution is going to an essential need.

The only eligibility requirements of HEALfundr are that you have legitimate medical expenses

Read more

Crowdfunding Your Power To Heal

“Crowdfunding” is a buzzword that hasn’t quite made it to everyone’s ears yet. It refers to the practice of collecting donations from a group or “crowd” to raise money through small donations towards a single goal. The platform has existed for longer than most would think—19th century literary works were published in a similar way, local or noteworthy patrons giving commissions to an author for a future copy of their work. The Internet has revolutionized the reach of crowdfunding. Kickstarter is the name most commonly associated with crowdfunding, helping fund creative projects with backers usually receiving a reward for their pledged donation.

Charitable crowdfunding, though typically absent of any reward incentive (isn’t giving its own reward?), has also been hugely impacted by the Internet. New platforms are using modern technology to elicit donations for personal or cause-based campaigns. Individuals raise funds to help recover from a disaster or personal tragedy, pay their pet’s vet bills, fund honeymoons, and to help pay their own medical bills. These personal campaigns can spread

Read more