The Cancer Drug Shortage: Patients And Families Deserve Better

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The Cancer Drug Shortage: Patients And Families Deserve Better

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Summary

Does it get much worse than this?

story in the New York Times last week highlights the dwindling supply of the drug methotrexate, which is vital in the treatment of a form of childhood acute leukemia. The closure in November of a key manufacturing plant-without other readily available sources of the drug-means that children with a very treatable form of leukemia may go without a drug that can make a difference in their lives. And there are no immediately obvious solutions to the problem.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 9:00am

By Dr. Len 

Does it get much worse than this?

story in the New York Times last week highlights the dwindling supply of the drug methotrexate, which is vital in the treatment of a form of childhood acute leukemia. The closure in November of a key manufacturing plant-without other readily available sources of the drug-means that children with a very treatable form of leukemia may go without a drug that can make a difference in their lives. And there are no immediately obvious solutions to the problem.

This is-unfortunately-only the latest chapter in a saga that has been unfolding over the past year. For a variety of reasons, the supplies of vital drugs necessary to treat cancer and other diseases have been in various periods of short supply, and we as a nation have been unable to find answers that make sense.

Maybe, just maybe, it's time to take the actions necessary to deal with the problem. Too many lives are at stake to expect otherwise. 

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