Critical Shortages of Vital Drugs for Cancer, Infections


The New York Times reports today that there are critical shortages of drugs to treat a number of life-threatening illnesses. So far this year, shortages have been recorded for 180 drugs (a record number) needed to treat childhood leukemia, breast cancer and life-threatening infections.

Federal officials and lawmakers are proposing a national stockpile of cancer medicines and/or a new nonprofit that could import drugs from overseas. "But the sense of alarm is widespread," said the report.

"These shortages are just killing us," said Dr. Michael Link, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "These drugs save lives and it's unconscionable that medicines that cost a couple of bucks a vial are unavailable."