Marsha Sneller: helping patients avoid heartbreaking sacrifices

We recently spoke with Marsha Sneller, a lead certified pharmacy technician at the June E. Nylen Cancer Center in Iowa.  

Describe your role and what your day-to-day looks like.  

I am a lead certified pharmacy technician. My typical day consists of processing prior authorizations for [patients to receive] oral oncolytics (self-administered medications for cancer) antiemetics to reduce treatment-induced nausea and vomiting, and pain medications.  

We research copay assistance and specialty pharmacies for patients in need. We also assist patients with drug company applications and help them get refills with their specialty pharmacy. Anywhere that the patient needs help, we try to assist as much as we can.  

What is most rewarding about your job?  

The most rewarding part of my job is easing financial burdens for patients receiving oral chemotherapy treatment.  

What sacrifices are patients making when they can’t afford their medications?   

Patients are sacrificing their health and mental wellness if they can’t afford their medications. They sacrifice the time they might have to survive their cancer diagnosis and time with family and friends.    

That is why financial assistance is so important to me. I would never want a patient to be burdened with having to sacrifice something so important in life.  

Tell us how a PAN grant helped one of your patients.  

I had a patient that was searching for financial assistance on her own for three months. Since I have a PAN portal account, I was able to apply for a grant on her behalf within five minutes. She was so happy because she could not afford the medication that she was going to be restarting.  

What else would you like others to know?  

If you don’t have a PAN portal account, I would suggest creating one. If you don’t use FundFinder, I highly recommend you utilize the tool. FundFinder has saved me about an hour each day when researching and applying for financial assistance.  FundFinder has saved me about an hour each day when researching and applying for financial assistance.