In one hospital in Ohio, cancer patients are now able to donate extra medications to help fellow patients get their often expensive drugs.
According to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, Ohio recently became the first state in the nation to create a drug donation repository program.
One woman with stage four cancer, according to the Dispatch, made $3 a month too much to qualify for Medicaid in Ohio. As a result, when she became too sick to work, she was left without insurance and prescription bills worth tens of thousands of dollars a month.
"Shame on us," medical ethicist Art Caplan told Boston Public Radio on Wednesday, referring to the woman's plight and the state of health insurance in the country today.
Caplan said programs like the one in Ohio would be a common sense method to cut down on drug costs.
"When you die, you often have unused expensive medicines like this woman might need," he said. "They're in the medicine chest and people don't know what to do with them, they probably throw them away because they're grieving and don't want to look at that anymore.
"We should have a collection program for all drugs," he continued. "That program should start like, yesterday."