The United States’ health care system is facing a crisis as a result of the medication’s shortage for cancer treatment, according to data from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) in the same country. Similarly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that the United States has increased the delay time for cancer procedures and shortages for medicines to combat this disease has increased to 137, compared to previous years.
In addition, The National Comprehensive Cancer Network said this Wednesday that almost all the health centers were dealing with shortages of carboplatin and cisplatin (used for treating cancer). Some are no longer able to treat patients receiving carboplatin at the intended dose or at the right schedule. Because of this, some doctors like Kari Wisinski have utilized other treatments, hoping to receive the right supply in the upcoming months. About the issue, she said:
It’s really difficult as a physician to have these conversations with a family or a patient about not having a medication you’d like to prescribe to them,
Another concern lies on the fact that at least 14 of the drugs that are used in cancer treatment, which contain chemotherapy compounds, are the ones with the shortest supply, as explained by medical journalist Roxanne Nelson to BBC Mundo. Nelson stated that there is no alternative to medication for cancer types such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and pediatric leukemia. As a result, the low supplies of these drugs could translate to tragic outcomes, including patients’ deaths.
In this difficult scenario, patients are forced to fight two, both against the cancer condition itself and another one against the lack of their medications. For instance, retired police North Carolina chief, Toni Dezomits, received the discouraging news, just before her third round of chemotherapy. There was no carboplatin left available. This is now delaying the former police’s treatment. On a similar note, there are approximately 100,000 affected users in the same condition. They now have two dangerous options that include: waiting for the right medications to alternative treatments that may cause side effects.