For some patients, finding affordable prescription drugs can seem impossible. Even after the much-publicized scandal of the exorbitant rise in cost of EpiPens, other medications like insulin also continue to soar in price. Since 2004, the cost of some insulin products is up 400 percent, reports show.
These are the sorts of spiraling prescription drug costs that keep life-saving medication out of the hands of the people who need them.
In 1997, Dr. Rich Sagall and social worker Libby Overly saw that too many people either couldn’t afford their necessary medications or had to choose between paying their utility bills and buying their prescriptions. Yet, tons of programs catered to those in need — if only they knew about them. Sagall and Overly realized a centralized compilation of all of available resources could change lives. And so, they started Needy Meds.
Needy Meds is a nonprofit organization that compiles free information on programs to help those who can’t afford prescription drugs or other health care costs. They have data on over 9,000 assistance programs; 15,000 free, low-cost or sliding scale clinics and almost 1,500 drug discount coupons. They give away a free drug discount card that provides discounts of as much as 80 percent at 65,000 pharmacies across the United States. The card saves on everything from prescriptions to over-the-counter drugs and medical supplies.