Tag Archives: drug shortage

Fake Drugs are a Global Problem

The counterfeit drug trade has reached global proportions, and solving the problem needs a global approach. So says an editorial in this week’s The Lancet. While the Avastin announcement last week raised lots of concern and media attention, the issue of counterfeit drugs isn’t new. In 2009, the European Union seized 34 million fake pills in just two months, including antibiotics, cancer drugs, and sildenafil (Viagra). Counterfeit medicines are a problem for both low and high income countries and can seriously hurt patients. In January the FDA warned healthcare providers not to buy injectable cancer medications from “direct-to-clinic” promotions or non-verified sources. Such drugs, says the FDA, put patients at

How to Get Imported Leucovorin

ASCO in Action has updated information on the best way to obtain imported leucovorin in solution. Teva Pharmaceuticals customer service provided them with detailed instructions to help hospitals, pharmacies, and oncology practices obtain imported calcium folinate solution. Teva has FDA approval to import calcium folinate solution which is the same strength as the powdered leucovorin approved for sale in the United States once water is added. Please be clear that individual patients cannot obtain the drug themselves.  It must be requested by pharmacists or physicians, and the requests must be approved by Teva.

The White House Addresses the Drug Shortage Issue

President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order yesterday addressing the drug shortage issue. As we have reported extensively on www.FightColorectalCancer.org, the current drug shortages have impacted colorectal cancer patients who have been unable to get 5-FU, leucovorin or on occasion, irinotecan. The Executive Order does not change the law, and it will not help patients who cannot get their drugs today, but it does reinforce the powers of the Food and Drug Administration to take steps that would ease the burden by: Broader reporting of when a manufacturer has stopped producing a drug that could lead to a shortage. Increased effort to review drug suppliers and manufacturing sites and changes.

Near Misses, Patient Harms, Actual Errors Due to Drug Shortage

A survey of physicians, pharmacists, and nurses working in healthcare facilities found an increasing number of frustrating drug shortages.  Worse: One out of three reviewed facilities had a serious error that was caught in time — a near miss. One out of four had an actual medication error resulting from the shortages. One out of five reported actual adverse outcomes for patients. This may only be the tip of the iceberg according to the health care professionals surveyed.  Many felt that errors and bad patient outcomes aren’t always shared so there maybe many more.