Why are long established cancer drugs in short supply? Elizabeth Tracey reports


At least three common generic cancer drugs are currently in short supply, the FDA has warned. Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson at Johns Hopkins says these shortages may be especially problematic for patients.

Nelson: Methotrexate, cisplatin and fluorouracil. These are meat and potatoes of chemotherapy drugs, they’ve been around forever. They have established places in curative regimens for a variety of different diseases largely made by generic manufacturers. That’s a different collection of problems and it’s a worrisome one. The FDA is looking into these things they actually published draft guidance in which they call for the biopharma companies, including the generic ones, to provide better advanced notification of these challenges so that the FDA could work with them to try and solve them.  :32

Nelson says short term strategies include prioritizing those who need immediate treatment and trying to find places that may have more of a supply on hand. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.