Drug Shortage Crisis for Cancer Patients
Paclitaxel, which is a generic version of intravenous drug Taxol, has now joined the shortage list compiled by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. This drug joins the list of 196 drugs. It is unclear how many cancer patients this puts at risk. There are plans to have an update on this drug June 16.
Patients who are battling breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers are experiencing shortages of other drugs such as fluorouracil, leucovorin, and liposonal doxorubicin.
Members of Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association or HOPA have done several national surveys identifying the impact of drug shortages and the out come on patient care in the United States. HOPA president, Lisa M. Holie, who was a member of the research committee who did the most recent survey, says this particular survey emphasizes the impact these shortages have had on onocology-type drugs.
These HOPA members who were responsible with managing the cancer drugs for community hospitals, cancer treatment centers and academic medical centers were the ones asked to complete this survey.
Nearly all of the 243 responders to the survey had had some sort of drug shortage during the range of the survey. This shortage meant delays in chemotherapy and other treatments. Because of the unfamiliarity of new treatments that had to be introduced it meant undesirable events and medication errors.
Young Hodgkin's lymphoma patients at St. Jude Hospital are in risk of relapse due to a shortage of the drug mechlorethamine. This meant that many would have to have additional intensive therapy that could lead to infertility and health problems later in life. In the case of Leukemia without the drugs daunarubicin and cytarabine it cannot be treated.
This shortage of oncology drugs can lead to some devastating results. This is because there is little or no similarities in the other drugs and treatments available. Learn more about the shortage and utilize the help line here.
Have written online for more than eight years now on many subjects. Also write under the username of Eve Sherrill York.