Friday, February 7, 2014

Chemotherapy Drug Shortages: A Critical Issue for Children & Not Just Specific to Cancer

Photo by TheNickster via Flickr
Every so often we read or hear about drug shortages such as a vaccine or antibiotic. Perhaps we have paid less attention to the drugs needed for children with chronic illness such as children with cancer, but fortunately our fellow oncologists have been quite focused on this issue and the ethical and practical ramifications of not having the appropriate drug to treat the appropriate tumor or cancer.

DeCamp et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2946) share the results of a Working Group on Chemotherapy Drug Shortages in Pediatric Oncology with six suggested steps to remedying the drug shortage issues in for children with cancer.

Accompanying this article is a terrific commentary by Dr. Dianne Murphy and colleagues (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4018) to show the relevancy of the cancer drug shortage situation to other potential pediatric drug shortage situations.

This is an important issue to think about—and the two articles will give you plenty to then talk about with your specialists as well as your fellow primary care practitioners who coordinate the care and therapies for your patients with chronic illness.

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