Yes RX gives nearly $6 million in donated cancer drugs to patients in need

Prescription Drug Counting
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 03, 2024
  • A group started in June 2023 has helped create a network of 40 cancer drug repositories across Michigan
  • Yes RX's efforts have helped more than 1,000 patients across the state

As people pay more for everyday items in 2024 one group wants to soften the financial burden for those taking prescription medication for cancer.
Yes RX's goal is to collect unwanted prescription medications and give them to those who otherwise couldn't afford it.

A 2016 study by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that roughly $3 billion in cancer drugs were being wasted or discarded each year by Medicare or private insurers.

Since its inception the group has helped more than 1,000 patients receive the treatment they need says CEO & co-founder Siobhan Norman.

"Everyone has different moments in their lives when they're more vulnerable than [ever]," Siobhan said. "The way [the legislation] is written it's really there to help those that are in need."

Siobhan is talking about Michigan's 2006 law that allowed the creation of drug repositories across the state. However, the first such depository wasn't formed until 2021.

Since Yes RX was founded in June 2023, the group has collected more than $6 million in donated cancer drugs and has given away about $5 million worth says co-founder and chief medical officer Emily Mackler.

"It's been a big savings," Mackler said. Mackler adds that the program has helped save money for both patients and providers.

Those who want to donate must follow certain criteria in adherence with state law:

  • The drug's expiration date must be at least six months later than the date the drug was donated
  • The drug is in it's original, unopened, tamper-evident dose packaging which includes the drug's lot number and expiration date.
  • The drug may not be adulterated or misbranded.

To read the law in its entirety click on this link to the Michigan State Legislature website.

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