We are all aware of the recent problem of durg shortages, both for cancer therapies and other things. There are many reasons suggested for the problem, including quality control, profits (or lack thereof), internal issues at manufacturers. Whatever the reasons, this is a very big issue that is creating intense anxiety and distress for many people. I personally know several women are not receiving their oncologist's drug of choice because it is not available. One woman, with recurrent endometrial cancer, was prepared to make monthly trips to Paris (not as romantic as it sounds in this instance) to be treated with Doxil. Even though her Blue Cross agreed to pay for the medication (not the plane tickets), the Doxil is no longer available there either.
Many people are trying to come up with solutions, but the problems persists and grows. Here is an article from Oncology Report. Per usual, I give you the beginning and a link (you will have to scroll down a bit) :
Drug Shortages Increasingly Take Toll on Care of Cancer Patients
Anesthesiology and emergency medicine also hit hard, regulators were told at agency meeting.
BY ELIZABETH MECHCATIE
SILVER SPRING, MD. - With their increasing prevalence, drug shortages in the United States have led to delays in treatment, forced the use of less effective alternatives, and en- couraged a burgeon- ing gray market that sells tough-to-obtain medications at highly inflated prices, ac- cording to stakehold- ers gathered at a recent Food and Drug Administration meet- ing.
Shortfalls in drug supply have increased in the United States, with 178 shortages re- ported in 2010, up from 61 in 2005, ac- cording to Dr. Ed- ward Cox, coordina- tor of the FDA's drug shortage program. Disproportionately affected are generic drugs and sterile in- jectable products; the latter accounted for two-thirds of the shortages last year. About half of the injectable shortages were caused by problems with product quality, followed by manufacturing delays (21%), discontinuations (11%), and other issues including an increase in demand.