KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | News

Storm to Bring Rain & Snow to Southern Colorado

Drug Shortages Affecting Doctor, Patient Treatment Decisions

By: CBS News & KKTV
By: CBS News & KKTV

A new study shows that drug shortages are affecting seriously ill cancer patients. Doctors say in some cases they've had to delay treatment.

Hundreds of drugs have been in short supply in recent years, including many to treat cancer. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine surveyed nearly 250 oncologists and found 83 percent of doctors said they have faced drug shortages.

"Our survey found that thousands of patients have had their treatment regimens changed because of drug shortages," says Dr. Keerthi Gogineni of Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.

43 percent of doctors had to delay their patients' treatment and 37 percent had to choose among patients who needed a particular drug.

"They need to prioritize when there is limited drug availability," Gogineni says. "These decisions are fraught with ethical complications."

Previous research from last December found a link between drug shortages and higher rates of relapse in lymphoma patients like Abby Alonzo. she was forced to switch medication right in the middle of her treatment.

Problems with quality and manufacturing are behind many drug shortages in the US. But since last year, manufacturers are required to notify the FDA of shortage problems. The agency says it's been able to lower the number of drug shortages and also prevent some from happening.

The survey also found that nearly 40 percent of cancer doctors said they had to switch their patients from generic drugs to more expensive brand name medications.


KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.

If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.

powered by Disqus
KKTV 520 E. Colorado Colorado Springs, CO 80903 Office: (719) 634-2844 Fax: (719) 632-0808 News Fax: (719) 634-3741
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 210009611