OSU program helps cancer patients struggling to afford medication

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It may be a model for cancer care across the country

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

It can be a real financial burden for patients who must take certain medications. For some, 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 new 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 redispense that medication to another cancer patient,” said Julie Kennerly-Shah, with PharmD Cancer Center.

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 who are using its cancer center for treatments. In total, 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.

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