This blog post originally appeared on Zaggocare.org Medications save lives and make life more bearable for millions of people. No doubt about it. But medications can also cause harm. Logically, the more medications a patient takes, the higher the risk of side effects and dangerous interactions between medications. Did you know many patients take inappropriate or unnecessary medications? Unfortunately, over-prescribing is a widespread, dangerous problem in the US, especially for older patients (categorized as those 65+ years old). Why do doctors prescribe too many medications? What harm does it cause? And what can patients do? An extensive report by the Lown Institute examines the impact of over-prescribing in older patients. Their report states that the US “is in the grips of an unseen epidemic of harm

from the excessive prescribing of medications.” This important, often overlooked issue may impact your health, or the health of a loved one.   What are the dangers associated with medications? Although medications are designed to help patients, they can also cause health issues. All medications have side effects. Some are potentially serious, while others are minor. But it’s important to understand that all medications carry some degree of risk. There are two major issues of concern – side effects and adverse drug reactions. Adverse drug reactions (ADR) involve an unexpected or dangerous reaction to a medication. You can develop an ADR after one dose of medication, from prolonged use of a drug, or from a negative interaction between 2 or more medications. The more…

Last month, we posted a blog about how many Americans are spending more than $50,000 or even $100,000 a year on medications—more  people than ever before. The information included insured Americans and found that insurance covered an average of 97% of prescription costs for those spending at least $50,000. At NeedyMeds, there are many assistance programs for those who are in need.  However, even with new laws and regulations there are those stuck in between.   There are patients in America that make too much money to qualify for assistance but still not enough to pay all their medical bills.  Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) and non-profit organizations often have limits to how much income a person or family makes in a year to

be eligible for their services.  Good jobs and good insurance can still leave patients paying huge amounts for prescribed medications.   Some medications for serious or chronic diseases such as lupus can cost $2500 per dose. Even with insurance that pays 80% of the drug price there is a $450 out-of-pocket payment, which does not include monthly insurance premiums or other medical costs.  One hepatitis C drug costs $84,000 for a 12-week course. While some patients end up taking on massive amounts of debt, others opt out of taking their medication at the risk of more serious health problems in the future.   According to Truveris, a drug pricing research firm, the price of prescription drugs rose 10.9% in 2014 compared to 2013. Pharmaceutical companies often blame…

Here at NeedyMeds we are dedicated to finding as many savings programs on medications and healthcare as possible. One of the primary sources of assistance we list are Patient Assistance Programs. These programs are usually offered by pharmaceutical companies and other organizations to provide medications at little to no cost. Many people, however, do not qualify for these programs because their income is too high or they are insured. Knowing this we began to collect information on coupons, rebates and other offers for medications. Our listing started fairly small but has grown considerably. We currently list over 1,600 coupons, rebates and other offers.   Each listing we post is for a brand name medication, including both over-the-counter and prescription medications. The offers vary

and include printable coupons and rebates, savings cards, 7-30 day free trial offers, and free samples. Each program is different - some are as simple as printing out the coupon while others require registration, questionnaires, or obtaining a free sample through your doctor.   Finding a coupon or other offer is easy. We list each offer on our Coupons, Rebates & More page. Here we have each offer listed alphabetically by drug, including a description of the offer and an expiration date. Simply click on the Manufacturer's Offer to get the full details from the drug manufacturer's website. We also list the coupons with our Brand Name Patient Assistance Program listings. Just look for the coupon icon  next to the name of the drug.