FDA: Dramatic Rise In Drug Supply Problems Since 2010.

HealthDay (8/25, Reinberg) reports the FDA says that “since 2010, the number of drugs either in short supply or not available at all has risen dramatically.” According to experts, the majority “of these are generic drugs given by injection and used in hospitals to treat serious conditions such as breast and testicular cancer.” Dr. Richard Schilsky, past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, called it “very serious, particularly the shortage of cancer drugs. … Patients are being called everyday by their oncologist being told that they have to delay their treatment because the drug isn’t available,’ Schilsky noted.”
Under the headline “Shortage Of Cancer Drugs Hits Atlanta,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (8/25, Poole) reports, “Dr. Bancroft Lesesne, chief executive officer and president of Georgia Cancer Specialists, said the drugs affected are most commonly used in breast, lung, lymphoma and colon cancer treatments. ‘There’s a standard treatment we might recommend to a patient based on the disease and the stage,’ he said. ‘If the drugs aren’t available we have to make substitutions. We think they’re just as effective but you can never be quite sure.'”
Also highlighting the local impact, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (8/25, Fauber) reports the situation “is frightening pharmacy managers, the professionals who most deal with a predicament that has no end in sight. ‘For chemotherapy drugs to be in such short supply is a very scary situation,’ said Julie Karpinski, a drug information pharmacist at Froedtert Hospital and an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Concordia University Wisconsin.”

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