chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
June 30, 2023

Ongoing Shortage of Cancer Drugs Puts Patients at Risk

Earlier this year, shortages developed for key cancer drugs carboplatin and cisplatin, used to treat multiple cancers that include prostate, breast, lung, and ovarian cancers.  Both are inexpensive, platinum-based generic drugs that, though widely used, do not generate much profit for the drug manufacturers.  Late in 2022, India-based drug manufacturer Intas had ceased producing the cancer drugs following an FDA inspection and citations of serious quality and safety violations; before that, Intas was manufacturing around half of the cancer drugs used in the U.S.  The situation is now worsening as inventories of these drugs are depleted, leading to interruptions or delays in chemotherapy treatments, use of lower dosages or of less effective drugs, and even rationing by using the limited supply of drugs for patients who have less advanced disease and are more likely to survive.  The National Comprehensive Cancer Network published survey results on June 7, 2023, describing how widespread are the shortages of the platinum drugs and calling on the cancer community to develop creative solutions.

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.