The cancer medicine shortage does not seem to improve in the US. Medical professionals are forced to adopt rectifying strategies. The most recent among them is limiting life-saving therapies.
The generic chemotherapy chemicals cisplatin and carboplatin, which are first-line remedies for many prevalent types of cancer, are among 14 oncology medications designated as “in shortage” by US regulators.
In the United States, around 650,000 cancer patients undergo chemotherapy in an outpatient oncology clinic each year.
“The concern there, of course, on the part of patients and their clinicians is ‘are we sure this is equally effective? Are we potentially in some way reducing the chance for a cure?’ I don’t think we have solid data on that, but that is a serious concern. The crisis was particularly acute due to the widespread use of chemotherapy drugs. Between 100,000 and 500,000 patients could be affected by shortages of cisplatin and carboplatin, highlighting the urgent need for policymakers to strengthen supply chains,” informs Julie Gralow, chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Manufacturing defects and high demands are some of the reasons behind the shortage. Medical professionals have expressed difficulties due to the shortage.
The FDA has allowed the import of drugs from China for use in cancer treatment. According to CNBC, Chinese pharmaceutical company Qilu Pharmaceutical has won FDA approval for its cisplatin injections.