Cancer Drug Shortages Hit Hard Across United States

June 3, 2013

Shortages of critical cancer drugs are threatening the care of patients who are already fighting for their lives, according to research presented today during the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology by Keerthi Gogineni, MD, MSHP, an instructor in the division of Hematology-Oncology in the Abramson Cancer Center. Her study of cancer specialists across the U.S. found that 83 percent reported experiencing a drug shortage in the past six months, and 92 percent of those said patients' care has been affected. Doctors reported that the drug shortages forced them to choose between patients who needed the medications, make potentially risk drug switches during treatment, and select expensive branded drugs over generic agents in short supply. "These drug shortages are persistent and pervasive," Gogineni said. "They are affecting the treatment of curable cancers, forcing physicians to improvise." The news was covered by USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, U.S. News and World Report (via HealthDay), Medscape and others.

Penn Medicine News Release
USA Today article
Bloomberg News article
Wall Street Journal article
U.S. News & World Report (via HealthDay News)
Medscape article