(WYTV)- We are surviving cancer more and more but it’s costing us more and more.

It can be a real financial burden on patients who have to take certain medicines.

For some patients, that means thousands of dollars a month so they skip refills or split pills to make them last longer. The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center has a program to keep expensive cancer medications from going to waste. These rules allow patients to return whatever oral cancer medicines they didn’t need.

“We put that medication into essentially a repository where we wait for the next patient that has a financial need so that we can re-dispense that medication to another cancer patient,” said Julie Kennerly-Shah.

It’s another way to help patients worry less about cost and focus more on getting well. So far, Ohio State has helped more than 30,000 patients this way who are using its cancer center for treatments. The medicines were worth $500 million.

It may be a model for cancer care across the country: drug take-back programs to help those who can’t afford their meds.