Originally posted 4 Nov 20
It was an act of kindness: while overseeing a patient through a round of chemotherapy, an oncology fellow at Johns Hopkins University's Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland, paid a modest amount of money (about $10) for that patient's antiemetic medication and retrieved it from the center's pharmacy.
Co-fellow Arjun Gupta, MD, witnessed the act and shared it with the world September 23 on Twitter.
"Just observed a co-fellow pay the co-pay for a patient's post-chemo nausea meds at the pharmacy, arrange them in a pill box, and deliver them to the patient in the infusion center. So that the patient could just leave after chemo."
Healthcare professionals applauded the generosity. "Phenomenal care," tweeted Carolyn Alexander, MD, a fertility physician in Los Angeles.
It's a common occurrence, said others. "Go ask a nurse how many times they've done it. I see it happen weekly," tweeted Chelsea Mitchell, PharmD, an intensive care unit pharmacist in Memphis, Tennessee.
Lack of universal healthcare brings about these moments, claimed multiple professionals who read Gupta's anecdote. "#ThisIsDoctoring. This is also a shameful indictment of our medical system," said Mary Landrigan-Ossar, MD, an anesthesiologist at Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
However, one observer called out something no one else had ― that paying for a patient's medication is not allowed in some facilities.