Category: Health

A Prescription for Change – Making Affordable Medicine a Priority

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

Read more

Bruins Fan Raises Awareness to #BumpOutCancer

Last summer, we wrote about the Ice Bucket Challenge in support of the ALS Association. This year, a young Bruins fan’s viral video has launched a new awareness campaign. Liam Fitzgerald, 8 years old, was seen fist-bumping Boston Bruins players during their warm-up last November, and captured the hearts of hockey fans around the nation. In 2011, Liam “kicked cancer’s butt,” and is now working on raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with his own “Fist Bump Challenge.” Less bracing than a bucket of ice water, Liam’s campaign asks people to post pictures or videos of themselves fist bumping each other on social media and donating $5—$1 for each finger and thumb—and then nominating five more people to participate in the challenge.

Leukemia is a cancer that affects blood and bone marrow and develops when blood cells produced in the bone marrow grow out of control. It’s estimated that over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with leukemia every year and 24,000 die from the disease annually.

Read more

Introducing $4 Generic Discount Drug Programs

Earlier this year, we announced a project we would be releasing in 2015. After months of work and research, we are now offering information on discount generic medications. These $4 Generic Discount Drug Programs offer 30- or 90-day supplies of prescribed generic medications for prices as low as $4-$15. With over 120 of these programs nationwide, this is the first time information for them is searchable and available in one place.

Using the new resource, one can search for prices for thousands of generic medications as well as programs in their area or national pharmacies such as Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens along with local and regional pharmacies. “Our goal at NeedyMeds is to provide all the purchasing options so individuals can find the best price for their medicines,” said Dr. Richard Sagall, president and co-founder of NeedyMeds. “This information complements our data on patient assistance programs, coupons, copay assistance programs and rebates.”

Part of NeedyMeds’ mission statement has always been to help people facing problems paying for medications and health care.  With the new information available on

Read more

Resources for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

The National Institute of Cancer says that colorectal cancer is cancer that forms in the colon or rectum in both men and women. It is the third most common non-skin cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. To help raise awareness of this deadly but highly preventable disease, March has been designated Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Screening is the most effective way to reduce one’s risk of colorectal cancer; it is preventable and, if caught early, treatable. Risk increases with age, so people over 50 years old are encouraged to get screened. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a variety of tests, from a stool test once a year to a sigmoidoscopy every three to five years and/or colonoscopy every 10 years. Despite the risks, 1 in 3 adults ages 50-75 are still not getting screened as recommended. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking alcohol to excess and being smoke-free can also lower your risk for colorectal cancer.

With

Read more

Getting Help from a Patient Advocate

Illness can strike anyone at any time. Even a well-prepared person can feel lost and confused when trying to navigate the US healthcare system. For those unable to find their way, there is assistance available from local community action agencies and patient advocates.  The resources available to each community can differ, however the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is a national non-profit organization that offers patient services with a mission to “safeguard patients through effective mediation, assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of financial stability.”

Founded in 1996, PAF’s primary purpose has been to provide direct services to patients, providers, family members and caregivers of those dealing with chronic, life-threatening, or debilitating conditions.  There is no charge for their services as they assist as “active liaisons” working on behalf of the patient. Primarily phone-based interactions are provided by professional case managers provide real-time support for today’s healthcare challenges.  Focusing on the areas of insurance barriers, employment preservation, financial stability

Read more

About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.