The nationwide drug shortage is increasingly endangering people with cancer. Chemotherapy meds are among the top five drugs affected by the shortage, notably carboplatin and cisplatin, two platinum-based therapies often used together for breast, lung and prostate cancers as well as for blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma. In fact, these two meds are used in treatments for as many as 500,000 new cancer patients each year, according to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).
The NCCN also reported that the drug shortage has impacted 93% of surveyed cancer centers. And news outlets across the nation reported that local doctors are scrambling to find meds, even resorting to administering lower or fewer doses.
Many factors contribute to the shortage, including supply chain interruptions affecting, for example, ingredients made in China as well as quality control issues at factories that manufacture generics. Medical experts and advocates are urging the White House and Congress to address the drug shortage.