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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Drug Shortages continue to affect the health care industry, particularly the cancer community, with the problem expected to worsen this year. These shortages include antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs used by those currently living with cancer and longer term cancer survivors.

According to a Penn State survey of 245 oncologists and hematologists in 2012, 94 percent said their patients’ treatment had been affected by drug shortages. As of July 2013, there were more than 300 drugs listed as being in short supply, with the list regularly being updated. Furthermore, the announcement of the impending closure of the manufacturing company Ben Venue Laboratories is expected to cause generic drug shortages to reach an all-time high. For people dependent on these medications, this can be scary and confusing.

If you or your loved ones are dependent on a treatment expected to be in short supply, or you have concerns or confusion regarding the shortage and how it could affect you and your treatment, the Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Support Helpline is here for you. By calling the helpline you can get assistance with your questions about the ongoing drug shortages, as well as have access to a licensed mental health professional who can help you plan ways in which you can communicate your concerns and needs to your health care team. This service is provided at no cost to you by calling 1-888-793-9355 or by joining the online chat. Additionally, please visit and download the Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Cancer Drug Shortages fact sheet for helpful information on this topic.

Category: Cancer Support