Need free and low-cost medications and clinics? Here’s help.

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Finding good medical-price resources is one of our favorite things, so we were excited to trip over NeedyMeds.

It’s a web site with terrific resources, including maps and phone numbers of clinics supplying free and low-cost medical services. The site also has map functions allowing consumers to search for clinics within a certain distance of a Zip code, and also supplies information about Patient Assistance Programs,  programs that provide free or discounted medicine to people who are unable to afford them.

“NeedyMeds is a 501(c)(3) non-profit information resource devoted to helping people in need find assistance programs to help them afford their medications and costs related to health care,” the Web site says.  “NeedyMeds was founded in 1997 by Richard Sagall, MD and Libby Overly, MSW when Libby 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 , a friend with a medical practice in Bangor, Maine, he conceptualized making the information available on the Internet to make it available to more people. This was the beginning of NeedyMeds.”

Discount drug cards? You’ll find information here. Also there’s terrific information about Medicare and Medicaid, programs for children and disease resources.

There’s also a great no-nonsense question-and-answer page, including this information:

“Q: Where can I find clinics that treat patients with limited income?

“A: We have a list of thousands of clinics throughout the country that see patients who can’t afford to pay. Some are totally free while others charge a small fee or charge based on the income of the patient. You can find the list on our Free/Low Cost Clinics page.

“Q: Do regular doctors see patients who can’t afford to pay?

“A: Some do, some don’t. If you like your current doctor you should bring up the subject of finances. Many doctors are willing to work out a payment schedule or adjust their fees. Be honest with the doctor and be willing to make an effort.”

We haven’t seen such an exhaustive list of information. If you have a better source, let us know.