Drug Shortage Updates from ASHP

Some recent updates from the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists of interest to people with colon and rectal cancer:

  • Fluorouracil (5-FU) as of 8/31/11: On back order from Teva, APP Pharmaceuticals, and Mylan Institutional.  Manufacturing delays at Teva appear to have caused increased demand from other companies.
  • Leucovorin as of 8/31/11:   Bedford has some powderized sizes available and limited allocations of others.  Teva is importing folinic acid solution and it is available for drop shipment, but powdered leucovorin is on back order. APP is releasing powderized leucovorin as it becomes available.
  • Irinotecan as of 8/26/11:  Teva and Sandoz have back orders of some doses because of manufacturing problems.  Hospira shortages are due to increased demand.  Some dosage vials are available from APP and as Camptosar from Pfizer.  Three generic manufacturers stopped making irinotecan in 2010 and another one did so in May 2011.
  • Fusilev as of 6/21/11:  Although it was in shortage previously, Spectrum has announced that they have ample supplies currently and for the future.  ASHP reminds physicians and pharmacists that dosing errors can occur when substituting Fusilev (levoleucovorin) for leucovorin.

Check the links to ASHP updated sites for more detailed information about which sizes are available, reasons given for shortages, and when shortages are expected to be resolved.

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