Coming up short

Shortages of drugs for treating cancer and other diseases are affecting patient care, but what is being done to stop this serious problem, asks Susan Mitchell.

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
26th May, 2012
While drug shortages are not a new phenomenon, the problem is worsening.

In early February, concerns began to mount in the United States over a shortage of a drug used to treat cancers including childhood leukaemia, bone cancer and osteosarcoma.

The shortage of the drug - known as preservative-free methotrexate - was caused by manufacturing problems at one of the few plants in the US which make it. The manufacturer had suspended supplies because of production and quality concern, and stocks subsequently dwindled to the point that...

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