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Key Cancer Drug In Short Supply — Thousands Of Kids At Risk

Tue, February 14, 2012 10:39am EDT by 2 Comments

Thousands of children with leukemia depend on a cancer-fighting drug to survive, but now supplies are DANGEROUSLY low! Doctors say they only have enough for three weeks!

Methotrexate, a crucial, lifesaving medication that helps fight leukemia, and 28 other cancer drugs are in short supply and putting over 550,000 patients at risk, according to a new report by CBS News! “This is a real, real crisis,” says Dr. Jon Maris, chief of oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. So why have suppliers stopped making the extremely important drug? Money!

Many of these cancer-fighting drugs have become generic, so companies have a smaller profit margin and are less interested in making them. The largest manufacturer of methotrexate even shut down its plant last fall.

“Children will die because they can’t get methotrexate,” Dr. Maris warns. Methotrexate is a curative agent when injected into the bloodstream, and it’s one of the main medications used to prevent leukemia cells from entering the spinal fluid.

But his hospital only has two months supply left, and most children take it for three years!

“Unless something dramatic changes in the next few weeks, myself and other physicians and nurses on this very unit will have to look parents in the eyes and say we don’t have methotrexate and the substitute is not as good,” he says. “And, I’m sorry.”

The first of three congressional bills to give the FDA more power to handle this crisis was introduced a year ago, but the house and senate have both failed to bring a bill to the floor.

Can YOU believe this shocking story!? We hope something is done very soon about this impending crisis.

-Anna Moeslein

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