The drug shortage problem is well established, rapidly growing, and a symptom of current economic conditions. In June 2011, the FDA Web site listed 71 drugs that were not available, representing more than 200 individual products, including the oncology drugs bleomycin, cisplatin, cytarabine, daunorubicin, doxorubicin, etoposide, leucovorin/levoleucovorin, mechlorethamine, thiotepa, and vincristine. Last year, 178 drugs were on the FDA list (Figure 1), and today drug availability is a daily concern that requires constant vigilance and keeps many oncology professionals “up at night.” Hopefully, the current crisis will be a catalyst for significant changes in the future.
Kavilanz P. Drug shortages at all-time high. CNN Money. Available at http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/10/news/economy/drug_shortages_fda/index.htm?iid=H_E_News. Published 10 June 2011. Accessed 5 July 2011.
Alazraki M. Drug shortages: a deadly problem with no cure in sight. Daily Finance. Available at www.dailyfinance.com/2011/01/11/drug-shortages-a-deadly-problem-with-no-cure-in-sight/. Published 11 January 2011. Accessed 5 July 2011.
Preserving access to life-saving medications act, S 296, 112th Cong (2011). Available at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-296.