Tag Archives: Fusilev

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

Growing Drug Shortages Cost Money, Put Patients at Risk

Shortages of prescription drugs cost the United States more than $200 million. In addition, shortages force doctors to delay or cancel treatment.  Patient safety is compromised when doctors have to use different or unfamiliar drugs when they can’t get the right ones. In the six months from July to December of 2010, 240 drugs were either in short supply or completely unavailable.  More than 400 generics were back-ordered for more than five days. Most of the medicines with shortages are necessary for emergency care, sedation, or chemotherapy — including leucovorin which is a backbone of most colorectal cancer treatment regimens.

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: October 9

Briefly: In research this week, human embryonic stem cells produced an immune response in mice with colon cancer, and discussing strong pain medicines with cancer patients reduces their pain by about 20 percent. The Food and Drug Administration has found many dietary supplements contaminated with prescription drugs not listed on the label, some at several times higher than the recommended dose.  In other FDA news, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals was unable to get FDA approval for use of Fusilev® for metastatic colorectal cancer.

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