Cancer drug shortages anticipated this year

by | Jun 8, 2012

From: Strategic Sourceror

Drug shortages in the U.S. could intensify this year, experts are warning.

A number of critically important drugs suffered from shortages in 2011, a problem that grew so acute the U.S. government was prompted to hold a special hearing on the matter. According to Pharmacy Practice News, the number of drug shortages has already risen through the first part of this year, exacerbating worries.

“By about the second week of February, we had already exceeded the 40 new drug shortages,” Huntsman Cancer Institute pharmacy supervisor Dan Sageser said.

At that rate, the level will surpass that of last year, when 267 drugs were included in the list of medications in short supply. Drug manufacturing has contributed to the problem, which has highlighted the inefficiency of the pharma supply chain. The oncology field has been especially hard-hit by the shortages, according to the news provider.

A number of medications that were developed decades ago and are routinely used in the treatment of cancers have been unavailable in some regions of the U.S. for roughly two years. Pharmacists are devoting more of their time to procuring such drugs, but in many instances they are failing to locate sufficient supplies.

Public officials are increasingly putting pressure on the industry to address the issues, but it could take time for their efforts to produce tangible changes, experts warned.

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