Expansion to Pennsylvania’s cancer drug donation system to be introduced in House

28 February 2024- House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) announced Wednesday he plans to introduce legislation to expand access to donated prescription drugs in Pennsylvania.

Currently, Pennsylvania’s Cancer Drug Repository Program only allows health care facilities and physicians’ offices to donate unused cancer medications to pharmacies participating in the repository program. The program is overseen by the State Board of Pharmacy and, currently, only two pharmacies are enrolled to receive donated prescription drugs as part of the program.

The legislation, first introduced by Cutler in 2018, would expand the current Cancer Drug Repository Program to allow both health care facilities and individuals to donate prescription drugs (other than cancer drugs) to the program.

“Each year, billions of dollars of prescription medications are wasted because Pennsylvania’s Cancer Drug Repository Program is unworkable, inaccessible and underutilized. My legislation would open the doors to increased donations of life-saving—but often costly—medications that can be the difference between a struggling family getting the care they need for a loved one or not,” Cutler said.

As of 2023,44 other states have successfully implemented prescription drug donation programs that have saved lives, money and medical resources.

“With my background in health care, and having a family history of complicated medical diagnoses, I know first-hand how costly life-saving prescription medications can be. I have also experienced seeing many good people turned away from donating unused prescription medications because of a failure in state law,” Cutler said. “It is time for Pennsylvania to update its laws, rejuvenate the Cancer Drug Repository Program, and ensure a robust system of donated prescription medications exists for those who need this life-saving medication.”

You can read more about the pending legislation in a co-sponsorship memorandum here.