Teva to resume making pediatric cancer drug after shortage caused 'a nightmare'

Teva Pharmaceuticals will resume producing the vital cancer drug vincristine after a shortage caused a "nightmare situation" for physicians and patients, according to STAT

Vincristine is used to treat several childhood cancers, including leukemias, lymphomas and brain tumors. 

Teva stopped making vincristine in July, saying it was selling the drug at a loss. That left Pfizer as the sole supplier of the drug, but Pfizer was also experiencing manufacturing difficulties that made the shortage even worse. 

An unnamed Teva spokesperson told STAT that when the company decided to stop making the drug, there was no indication of a shortage and that Teva was only supplying 3 percent of the market in the U.S. 

Teva still makes the drug in other countries, a move the spokesperson told STAT is commonplace when Teva is the only manufacturer.

Teva aims to make vincristine available as early as possible in 2020. 

"Because vincristine is such a lifesaving medicine — and there is no reliable single supply anticipated in the near term — we have decided to re-introduce the product and plan to manufacture it in our plant in the U.S., which provides the fastest route to market," Teva told STAT. 

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