The History of NeedyMedsNeedyMeds is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1997 by Richard Sagall, MD, and Libby Overly, MSW, as a resource of information about patient assistance programs (PAPs). Ms. Overly was working as a medical social worker in a rural Mississippi. She developed a database of PAP information to help her meet the needs of her clients. When she described this database to Rich Sagall, a friend with a medical practice in Bangor, Maine, he had the idea of putting the information on the Internet to make it available to more people. This was the beginning of NeedyMeds.org.
The mission of NeedyMeds has been, since its inception, to make information about assistance programs available to low-income patients and their advocates at no cost. The website, NeedyMeds.org, is the face of the organization. Databases such as Patient Assistance Programs and Disease-Based Assistance, government programs and other types of assistance programs are the crux of the free information we offer online. In response to the growing needs of advocates and patients, NeedyMeds recently added a free clinics database to its website and started an online forum, NeedyMeds Forums, for patient advocates.
The scope of NeedyMeds has grown to include much more information than just the information on the website. NeedyMeds has developed software, PAPTracker, to help small-to-medium offices manage their PAP patients. Patient Advocate News (PAN) is a bi-monthly electronic newsletter available at no cost for advocates. And, NeedyMeds does outreach through the Volunteer Project, the mailing of thousands of brochures on how to find assistance and affiliations with other non-profits.
NeedyMeds is funded by small grants, the sale of PAPTracker, revenue from ads on the homepage and syndication of some of information. NeedyMeds also works with the patient assistance programs of several pharmaceutical distributors.