1 cancer drug in shortage nearing 100% resupply, White House says

Cisplatin, a drug used for multiple types of cancer that's been in a severe shortage for months, is close to returning to 100 percent of pre-shortage supply levels, the White House said Sept. 12. 

Multiple cancer therapies have been in short supply after the FDA found quality control violations at an Intas Pharmaceuticals plant, such as shredded reports stuffed under stairwells and acid poured on drug quality data. 

Because of the national shortage, some hospitals and cancer centers have restricted access to the drugs for some patients as remaining stockpiles are prioritized for patients already taking the medications. Shortages of cisplatin and carboplatin, which both treat multiple cancers, have caused the most disruption to cancer care. Other cancer drugs in short supply include fluorouracil, fludarabine, methotrexate, capecitabine and docetaxel. 

In June and July, the FDA allowed China-based Qilu Pharmaceutical to temporarily import cisplatin. These lots have already been distributed, according to the FDA. The agency also worked with domestic drugmakers to increase their manufacturing capacity. 

"These actions brought the cisplatin supply back to nearly 100 percent of the pre-shortage levels and are greatly alleviating the shortages of carboplatin," according to a post from the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Drug shortage databases by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the FDA report cisplatin supply will return to normal levels between September and October.

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