We have covered the rising costs of medications in previous blog posts (at length), often times regarding specific medications that—while being life-changing—only affects a relatively small population. Despite the smaller personal impact of these raising prices, we address them because they are indicative of a much larger issue.  The issue comes into clearer focus when a life-saving auto-injection device that is necessary to survive allergic reactions for as many as 15 million Americans raises its price by over 500%.

EpiPen has become synonymous with epinephrine auto-injectors used by those with severe allergic reactions.  In 2007 a two-pack of EpiPens cost $56.  Today, the same two-pack is now $365. The device itself contains about $1 worth of epinephrine.

Last year, a generic medication for toxoplasmosis—a parasitic infection that often targets individuals with weakened immune systems such as those with AIDS or cancer—increased from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill. Despite relatively low prescription

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NeedyMeds was started in 1997 when a family physician and a medical social worker realized there were dozens of pharmaceutical patient assistance programs available, providing medications to those in need at low- or no cost, but no centralized resource for the information.  We became that resource, using the relatively new Internet as the perfect medium for the constantly changing information.  Despite growing significantly since our inception, we still have an expanding database of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) to help those unable to cover the costs of prescriptions.

Patient assistance programs are typically run by pharmaceutical companies to help uninsured and underinsured patients get their medication for free or low-cost. There are no regulations or laws dictating that pharmaceutical companies must provide PAPs, so the eligibility requirements often vary from program to program. Most require personal information (full name, address, date of birth, social security number), information from your doctor, and a valid prescription.  Some PAPs require information on insurance status or household income.  When using NeedyMeds,

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