340B Health

Faces of 340B

MICHAEL HUTSON, PHILADELPHIA, PA

Michael Hutson won’t soon forget a conversation he had with a pharmacist while recovering from kidney transplant surgery at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. The pharmacist said the medication Michael needed to take to ensure his body would not reject his new kidney cost $90,000, so Michael needed to make sure he didn’t lose the pills. 

Michael was less concerned about the risk of losing the drugs as he was about his ability to afford the $500 co-payment that came with the life-saving medication. That’s when a social worker at Einstein introduced the patient to the hospital’s 340B program. As a result, Michael didn’t have to pay any additional money to receive the drugs he needed following the transplant surgery. Instead, he has been focused on his recovery, which has included daily walks, taking his medication as directed daily, and attending kidney patient support groups at Einstein.

In the support groups, Michael has formed bonds with other patients who have been similarly concerned about the cost of medication co-pays because they are unable to work as they recover from surgery. The help that 340B has provided these patients has convinced him of the need for such programs to continue.