Cancer drug shortage: 8 updates

The chemotherapy shortage "remains a moving target," the National Comprehensive Cancer Network said in June. 

Here are supply updates on eight chemotherapies, according to data from the FDA and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists:

Carboplatin: The shortage of the medication, which treats multiple cancers, has mostly resolved. The FDA lists five presentations in limited or no availability, and the ASHP reports two products on back order. Between late May and mid-June, 11% of U.S. cancer centers said they lack enough supply. 

Cisplatin: The national supply of the drug now exceeds demand, FDA Commissioner Robert Cailiff, MD, said June 28. A few weeks prior, two of 28 cancer centers reported a shortage of cisplatin, which treats multiple cancers. The ASHP lists three presentations in short supply. 

Dacarbazine: A treatment for melanoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers, has seen unsteady supply since fall 2023. Two presentations are on back order or allocation. 

Etoposide: The FDA does not list this therapy in shortage, but the ASHP says eight products are in short supply and one is available. Forty-six percent of cancer centers do not have enough of the drug that treats small-cell lung and testicular cancers. 

Fluorouracil (5-FU): The shortage is not reported by the FDA, but cancer centers and the ASHP are seeing unstable supply. As of July 6, there are nine available and seven unavailable presentations.

Methotrexate: The therapy that kills cancer cells has seen a national shortage since February 2023 Between four and seven presentations are in limited supply, the ASHP and FDA report. 

Topotecan: 43% of cancer centers are short on topotecan, a therapy for cervical, ovarian and small-cell lung cancers. 

Vinblastine: 57% of cancer centers have insufficient supplies of the lymphoma therapy. Increased demand is limiting availability, according to the ASHP and FDA. The medication lacks an equal alternative.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars