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Not sure how to start using NeedyMeds? Wonder how to find certain information? In this section we’ll feature a particular NeedyMeds resource to help you find the information you need.

Dear Advocates, As the new editor of PAN, I’d first like to thank Vikki for her years of work on the newsletter. She has seen PAN through many changes and challenges as NeedyMeds has grown. Her willingness to continue to change and improve the format, content and distribution is greatly appreciated. We are grateful for her many contributions. We welcome your comments and suggestions on ideas to highlight in PAN. Just drop us a note anytime by emailing Jaye@ We’d love to hear from you.


MARCH 2012



Wishing you good health,


This month we’d like to talk about the Application Assistance programs. This section lists organizations that help people find and apply to patient asisstance programs. We only list application assistance programs that will help patients for free or for a very small fee. Some of the programs have residency, income, and/ or insurance guidelines but many are open to helping anyone in need. To find an application assistance program, go to the NeedyMeds homepage, look under the bold Patient Assistance Programs heading on the left and click on “Application Assistance” ( local_programs.taf). Either enter your ZIP code in the search and choose a distance or click on your state. You may also click “National Programs” to see a listing of programs that will help anyone in the country by phone.

If you cannot find a program we suggest that you look at our Free/Low-Cost Clinics or State-Sponsored Programs listings. You may also contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Some of these clinics and state programs will be able to help with the application process or may be able to refer you to someone in your area who can. If you know of an organization that provides application assistance and is not listed on our website, please let us know. If you are a part of an application assistance program and would like to tell us more about your organization in the interview section of our newsletter, we would be glad to hear from you. And if you are interested in becoming a patient advocate or starting a volunteer-based program to provide application assistance, please contact us because we have resources to help you get started. Email us at














EDITORIAL ... This article appeared in the January 17, 2012 online edition of the Connecticut Post.

DON’T FORCE PEOPLE TO CHOOSE Rich Sagall, MD, President Now that the crush of the holiday spending frenzy is behind us, many of us are looking for ways to get our finances back in order for the new year. In this economy savings are more important than ever. But what if there was a way to save on one of your household’s most critical, and sometimes most expensive, necessities? There is — and many people are now finding out about it. As president of, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping consumers save money on their prescription medications, I hear stories each day about families struggling to make ends meet. Sadly, people are often forced to choose between putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their heads and staying on medications their doctors have ordered.

on their prescriptions. When you know where to look, the availability of savings is astounding. Talk to your doctor about some of the ways you can save, such as patient assistance programs, coupons and co-pay discount cards, and drug discount cards. Patient assistance programs (PAPs) are usually sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and provide free or discounted medicines to low-to-moderate-income, uninsured and under-insured people who meet the guidelines. Eligibility and application requirements vary from program to program. The programs requirements and applications are unique to each manufacturer, so it’s best to check with the specific company to find out what your eligibility.

you know where “When to look, the availability

of savings is astounding.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of opportunities for consumers to save money on the prescriptions that will keep them healthy. Study after study shows that as costs of prescriptions go up, compliance with adherence to medications goes down. As a former practicing physician I saw many patients who had to make these difficult decisions and opted for food and heat over their medicines. Unfortunately, they suffered the consequences from their poorly controlled high blood pressure or diabetes including strokes, heart attacks, diabetic comas, hospitalizations and even death. Our team understands that cost can be a factor in prescription adherence. We are working to raise awareness of the multitude of ways people can save money


Our organization offers a discount card that can provide savings of up to 80 percent on many medications. The card is free and open to everyone. There is no registration required and your whole family can use one card. There are many drug discount coupons that can save users anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Just like coupons for other products, you present these when paying for your medicine. Some can only be used once, while others may be used over and over. A lesser-known source of assistance is co-pay ​programs. These programs assist people with their insurance co-pays. There are not co-pay programs for every drug, but for many — especially the more expensive drugs. So what are you waiting for? Make 2012 the year you put your health — and the ability to save — first. To request a reprint of this article, email Jaye@



DIANNE OFFICER NeedyMeds Administrative Assistant & Research Associate This month Jaye spoke with Dianne, our newest staff member. Jaye: Tell us what you do at NeedyMeds. Dianne: I answer incoming calls on the office line and direct the caller to the appropriate person. I also send out free NeedyMeds drug discount cards to people who request them and I research, confirm and make corrections to our free/low-cost clinics section.

not have any natural disasters. Besides, I have had my fair share of the heat! Jaye: Rumor has it you are a dog lover. Tell us more!

Dianne: I really enjoy working for a company whose mission is to help others.

Dianne: My parents used to breed German Shepherds, so I grew up around dogs. In the past I have had fish (fresh & salt water), birds, mice, hamsters, rabbits, snakes, cats and dogs. I now own only 2 goldfish, 1 cat named Buddha, and our newest family member is a 9-month-old, pure-bred Lowchen puppy named Feng Shui.

Jaye: What did you do before coming to NeedyMeds?

Jaye: What do you like to do when you are not working?

Dianne: Before I became a stay-at-home-mother, I was living in Burlington, VT and going to school for an associate degree in business administration. That’s where I met my husband. Then we moved to Gloucester, MA and I finished my last semester at the North Shore Community College. I was working as an accounts payable supervisor when I became a mom. I have been at home with my daughter until I started with NeedyMeds.

Dianne: What don’t I like to do? I love adventure and just about any outdoor sport there is! I love to travel. In Las Vegas, I jumped off the Stratosphere and now my newest goal is to ride the “Sling Shot” thrill ride in Florida. I went on the Zip Line ride in Montreal at the 2011 Winter Carnival and had such a great time, I plan to go back again this year!

Jaye: Why did working here interest you?

Jaye: Finally a New Englander who likes the cold and snow! How did that happen since you are originally form California? Dianne: I moved to Burlington, VT in 1991 after enduring a 10-year drought, the Peidmont/ Oakland, CA fire and the San Francisco 7.0 earthquake. I wanted to move to a state that did

Jaye: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you? I grew up in a large family. I am the fourth child born in a family of eight. I have 16 nieces and nephews, and I became a great aunt four times. I also have 23 first cousins.





DID YOU KNOW WE OFFER FREE WEBINARS? During a NeedyMeds webinar, you will learn how to navigate the NeedyMeds website more efficiently to help yourself and others and will be presented with an overviw of the many different resources available on our website. Some of this information can get overlooked, so we will go over each section of the website to teach you when it makes most sense to use each one. The next NeedyMeds webinars are: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 11 a.m. ET Thursday, March 29, 2012 @ 2 p.m. ET Click on the date you’d like to register online or visit Can’t attend either of these dates? We can tailor a webinar for your organization at your convenience. Email Elizabeth@ for more information. We also offer special-topic webinars. See below for details on our next session.



Do you currently process many PAP applications a day for patients who come into your facility? Has the workload become overwhelming? It may be time to think about getting PAP software. Roberta Downey, NeedyMeds Software Sales Manager, will present an overview of what to consider when looking into automating the PAP application process. She’ll cover such topics as the mechanics of setting it up and what can be automated without compromising the process and patient interactions. The next Special-Topic NeedyMeds webinar is: “PAP Software — Automating the Process” • Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 2 p.m. ET




WHAT WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON We’ve been ramping up our local outreach efforts. What we learn from working locally will translate into how we can work with communities all over the country. Our mission is to help communities access medications for their residents in need using NeedyMeds’ resources. Julie and Elizabeth are wearing out the heels of their boots working on outreach in the following areas: Elizabeth is spending time in Lowell, Chelmsford and Dracut, MA meeting staff at community health centers, senior centers, hospitals, community action agencies, a Cambodian assistance association, housing authorities and the town selectman’s meeting. Julie has been busy in Salem, Lynn and Beverly, MA presenting and meeting staff in councils on aging, senior services, community health centers, the MA Association of Community Health Workers, the mayors’ offices, and the North Shore Chamber of Commerce.

NEEDYMEDS IN THE NEWS NeedyMeds continues to be in the news. Here are a few recent mentions: In Lynn, MA NeedyMeds educates public about assistance programs In Gloucester, MA Gloucester-based NeedyMeds hits $1M mark saving money on prescriptions On WVIT-NBC, Ch. 30 in Hartford, CT Richard Sagall — Hartford Interview

Testimonials Don’t just take our word for it — see what our Facebook Friends are saying about NeedyMeds... “Being a Financial Counselor for a Hematology/Oncology doctor’s practice, this site has helped so many of our patients! I recommend NeedyMeds to anyone needing assistance large or small!!!!”



“This is a great help with my meds that aren’t covered by my insurance... I have received some meds for free.” “If you or your family are needing help with medication assistance, this is a terrific and reputable resource! Awesome for nurses and medical practices coordinating Patient Assistance, as well.”



DRUG DISCOUNT CARD The NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card saved users about $1,005,000 in the month of February

Clip, Print and Save NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card

NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card Patient: Simply present this card to a participating pharmacy to receive a discount on your prescription. Patients who have Medicare, including Part D, Medicaid or any state or federal prescription insurance can only use this card if they choose not to use their government-sponsored drug plan for their purchase. The card is not valid in combination with those programs. For questions concerning the card, call 1-888-602-2978 or visit

BIN: 600428 RX PCN: 05080000 RX GRP: 05360001 ID: NM0903150000

This is a drug discount program, not an insurance plan.

Pharmacist: Card must be presented to receive program benefits. Clear system of prior cardholder information associated with this universal cardholder ID. For processing questions, call Argus Health Systems at 1-866-921-7284.


With the free NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card you can save up to 80% off the price of your prescription medications. The card may be used by those without insurance and by those who decide not to use their insurance — for example if the drug is not covered under their plan, the copay or deductible is high, the cap has been reached, or if they are in the donut hole. Our NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card is accepted at more than 62,000 pharmacies, including major chains such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and at regional chains and local stores. There are no income, insurance or residency requirements, and no fees or registration process needed to use the card. One card can be shared with friends and family members, or they can print their own. The card can also be used for over-the-counter medications and medical supplies if written on a prescription blank, and pet prescription medicines bought at a pharmacy. The card is active immediately and never expires. Every time the card is used, NeedyMeds receives a small amount to keep our website up to date and growing.


Did a pharmacist refuse to let you use the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card because you have insurance? When this happens, just explain to the pharmacist that you’d like to process the medication using the drug discount card, rather then through your insurance. Remember, you never HAVE to use your insurance when purchasing a medication. If you have a high co-pay, low medication cap, or high deductible you may save money by using the card. You can request that the pharmacist give you the price with the card and then ask what the cost would be using your insurance. You decide which is better. If the pharmacist still has questions, request that he or she call the toll-free number for processing questions that’s on the back of each card.




PAPTracker PAPTracker is HIPAA-compliant, web-based software that streamlines and simplifies the management of patient assistance programs. PAPTracker is ideal for clinics, community health centers, hospitals and other groups that serve clients/patients that need access to prescription medications but cannot afford them. PAPTracker eliminates handwritten applications and repetitive entry of client and doctor information. It populates manufacturers’ applications using stored patient and prescriber information and automatically creates refill

reminders. PAPTracker always uses the most current information contained in our NeedyMeds PAP database. PAPTracker also provides over 75 patient, activity and demographic reports. NeedyMeds has limited grant funds available to help qualified small clinics ready to move from paper applications to this software solution. More information is on the NeedyMeds website and here: http://

TRACKER TIPS & UPDATES — Get Rid of Those Sticky Notes! PAPTracker’s Follow-ups feature allows you to create a master “To-Do” list for your PAP patients. Follow-ups can be sorted by due date or patient name. When you’ve marked a task completed, it comes off the list. And, you can print a hard copy of your To-Dos. To view Follow-ups: Go to Log → Follow-ups To create a new Follow-up reminder: Log → New Entry. Enter the last name of the patient you are working with. Type a comment in the Comments box and select a due date from the calendar icon. Then click <Save Changes>.

To mark a task completed: Log → Follow-ups. Click the entry you have completed. Check the completed box and add a comment if you wish. Then click <Save Changes>. To print a report of Follow-ups: Reports → Printable Reports → Patients. Select Logbook – Follow-ups. Choose you time frame and then click <View Report>. Print as you normally would. That’s it!




Sanofi Patient Connection Program All Genzyme Transplant-Oncology Programs have been combined with this program. Medications added*: Campath, Clolar, Leukine, Mozobil, Lovenox, Tenivac *Medication and application changes are being made frequently. Check listing for most current information. Xubex Patient Assistance Program Multiple medications added

The following programs are new: • • • • • •

Leo Pharma Patient Assistance Program Genentech Access to Care Foundation (Erivedge) GPS (Guidance & Patient Support) Brain Tumor Treatment Co-payment Assistance Program Akrimax Patient Assistance Program Endo Patient Assistance Program for VALSTAR

The following programs have been discontinued: • •

Zanaflex Uninsured Individual Program FerrerCARES

The following programs have updated or new applications: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Krystexxa Connexxions Patient Assistance Program Galderma Laboratories Patient Assistance Program PROVENGE Patient Assistance Sanofi Patient Connection Program Lilly Cares Patient Assistance Program Bristol-Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation: Nulojix Genentech Access to Care Foundation (Lucentis) PatientOne Oncology Valeant Patient Assistance Program Daiichi Sankyo Open Care Program Ranexa Connect Patient Assistance Program Takeda Patient Assistance Program Flolan Patient Assistance Program Sigma-Tau Patient Assistance Program and Reimbursement Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Program Brain Tumor Treatment Co-payment Assistance Program Zevalin Results Velcade Reimbursement Assistance Program Makena Patient Assistance Program Akrimax Patient Assistance Program Bausch and Lomb Indigent Patient Program Strativa Patient Assistance Program Leo Pharma Patient Assistance Program


KAREN GRENHAM Call Center Representative

BILL KYROUZ Research Associate

PEGGY PEPLAR Call Center Representative

DAMARIS MERCEDES Bilingual Helpline/Research Associate

ROBERTA DOWNEY Software Sales Manager

DIANNE OFFICER Administrative Asst./ Research Associate

ROBIN HOFFMAN Database & Research Mgr.

ELIZABETH MESSENGER Outreach & Education Mgr.

RUTH ROWE Call Center Representative

JAYE VAN DUSSEN Vice President

SAMUEL RULON-MILLER Technical Specialist

JULIE KAUTZ-MILLS Director of Outreach


NeedyMeds EMAIL OFFICE 978.281.6666 FAX 206.260.8850 ADDRESS PO Box 219 Gloucester, MA 01931


PAN March 2012  

Patient Advocate News March 2012

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