Cancer drugs in shortage: 15 supply updates

One cancer drug shortage has ended and at least 14 oncology drugs are in short supply, according to the FDA, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and physicians. 

Here are the latest supply updates: 

Azacitidine injections: Three drugmakers stopped making 100 milligram solutions of the leukemia drug. 

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin: Merck, the only maker of the bladder cancer drug, has had the solution on allocation for years. "To minimize disruption to patient care and address the current imbalance between supply and increased global demand, Tice BCG will be under allocation when demand exceeds production plans and available inventory," Merck told the ASHP.

Carboplatin injection: Fifteen solutions are in short supply and none are available. Drugmakers report the shortage is because of manufacturing delays and high demand, and resupply dates hover between September and November. 

Cisplatin injection: As of Sept. 8, 12 solutions are in shortage and two are available. The White House announced in mid-September that the nation's cisplatin supply levels are close to 100 percent of what they were before the shortage, which began in late 2022 and early 2023. 

Dacarbazine injection: There is insufficient supply for usual orders because three drugmakers — Fresenius Kabi, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Hikma Pharmaceuticals — have solutions on back order or allocation. Fresenius Kabi expects its supply to rebound in late September, and the other two drugmakers did not share release date forecasts. 

Decitabine injection: One solution is available and seven are not as of Sept. 12. None of the drugmakers reporting shortages of the leukemia drug could predict a release date. Hospitals are recommended to evaluate current supply and consider alternative regimens for a drug that lacks a replacement agent. 

Docetaxel injection: Three-fourths of the nation's supply of docetaxel is in shortage as 14 drugmakers report supply issues. Six pharmaceutical companies said they could not predict a resupply date, and provided release dates are between September and April. 

Doxorubicin liposomal injection: There are eight unavailable solutions of the drug that treats bladder, breast, lung, stomach and ovarian cancer. The shortages are expected to resolve in September and October, drugmakers said, but in the meantime, "no single agent can be substituted for doxorubicin liposomal, including doxorubicin," the ASHP said.

Fluorouracil injection, or 5FU: Six solutions are in shortage. Fresenius Kabi expects its supply to rebound between September and October, and Accord Healthcare and Sagent Pharmaceuticals did not share forecast release dates. 

Iobenguane I-131 injections: Progenics Pharmaceuticals stopped making two solutions because of low demand for the oncology medication.

Methotrexate: Twelve solutions are on back order among five drugmakers. Most companies did not share a predicted resupply date, but Fresenius Kabi forecasts its two solutions to escape their shortages between September and October. 

Pluvicto (Lutetium lu-177 vipivotide tetraxetan) injection: Novartis' prostate cancer drug went into shortage in March, and as of Sept. 14, the supply levels have stabilized.

Topotecan capsules: Novartis' Sandoz has two solutions, 0.25 milligram and 1 milligram bottles, on back order. There are no other presentations available as of Sept. 26, and the drugmaker told the ASHP it expects the shortage to end in November. 

Vinblastine sulfate injection: There are no available solutions as Fresenius Kabi's 1 milligram per milliliter, 10 milliliter dose vials are on back order, The drugmaker expects the shortage to ease in September. The FDA advises healthcare workers to check wholesalers for inventory. 

Vincristine: Neither the ASHP nor the FDA is reporting a shortage of the leukemia and lymphoma drug, but pediatric physicians have raised concerns about access tightening.

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