It’s an unfortunate reality that there are people who seek to take advantage of those in need through dishonest means. In the medical field there are those offering treatments that can be unnecessary or harmful or selling counterfeit medications. Other websites claim to offer medication assistance or information for a fee, only to take the money without fulfilling any of their promises.

Some of these sites claim to be NeedyMeds or be otherwise associated with our organization.  Don’t be deceived—NeedyMeds will never charge users for our information or access to assistance programs.

There are warning signs to be aware of to avoid potential scams:

  1. The program makes outlandish promises. If something appears too good to be true, it likely is. For example, a site may claim it can get you any or all your medications for free. No site can have such wide-reaching relationships with all possible pharmaceutical companies to be able to offer such services.
  2. The program asks for checking account or banking information. We at NeedyMeds never ask for such information. An easy work-around is to always use a credit card (not a debit card) when paying fees; credit card companies can help if you are ripped off.
  3. If you can’t get a real person who is kind and compassionate on the phone, there is reason to be suspicious. Fast-talking salespeople are not interested in helping you—they are interested in your money.
  4. If a program won’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, then be cautious. For example, one site declared they gave part of their profits to a non-profit but would never say which non-profit.
  5. If a program’s fees are larger than those available from competitors, it is likely they are more interested in making a profit. Be sure to shop around and research the fees commonly associated with the services you require.
  6. If a program offers no physical address, be wary. Many companies use a post office box, but they should still have a physical location.
  7. If there are concerns, check with the Better Business Bureau. This is not a guarantee that the company is legitimate, but it can be a good indicator or can make you aware of complaints against the organization.
  8. Search the program or company name online. Make note of complaints or issues other users experienced.
  9. If a program asserts that you need a company to help you apply, they are being dishonest. Most Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (PAP) applications are sent by the patients directly to the program with no assistance from any company. There are also local organizations that offer application assistance for no fee.
  10. If a program claims to possess special knowledge or can get you medications faster, remember that all the information regarding assistance programs can be found for free on our site. It’s also important to know that PAPs do not give priority to applications sent by companies.

NeedyMeds was founded on the idea that information on programs that can help with the cost of medication and healthcare should be available in one easy-to-navigate spot on the web—for free. Consumers can find all the information on brand name and generic name prescription patient assistance

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There are many companies that, for a fee, offer to help people apply to pharmaceutical patient assistance programs (PAPs). Some even show up when you do a Google search for “NeedyMeds” or words spelled close to “NeedyMeds.”

While some make reasonable claims, others seem to say if you pay them a fee they can get you any medicine for free. And some of the fees can pile up pretty quickly.

No PAP charges you to apply. Occasionally you’ll find one that has a copayment, but you should never pay upfront.

How complicated is it to apply to a PAP? The simple answer is “it depends on the program.” Just about every program has its own application. Some are very simple while others are a little more demanding. But this should never deter anyone from applying.

Horror stories abound about people who were duped by companies that help people apply to PAPs. What steps should you take to protect yourself from being ripped off?

There are websites where people describe the problems they encounter with companies such as:

Another way to find potential problems is just to Google the company name with the word “complaints.”

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