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US cancer centers warn drug shortages continue, impacting different varieties of medications

·1 min

While a shortage of chemotherapy drugs has improved in the United States, some of the nation’s largest cancer centers now report additional concerns related to drug shortages, according to a new report. Among 28 large cancer centers across the country, a significant percentage reported a shortage of at least one drug used to treat cancer or its symptoms. The survey found that the shortage has impacted key cancer medications such as vinblastine, etoposide, and topotecan. The report highlights the need for both short-term and long-term solutions to address drug shortages in cancer treatment. The shortage of carboplatin and cisplatin has improved, but challenges remain in ensuring uninterrupted patient care and clinical trials. Smaller community cancer centers are also experiencing similar shortages. The issue is driven by supply chain and economic factors, with limited incentive for manufacturers to produce older chemotherapy agents. The transition of drugs from patented blockbuster status to generics further exacerbates the problem. The report calls for economic incentives to encourage high-quality manufacturing of generics and better information systems to accredit or rate generics suppliers.