Pharmaceutical industry working to prevent cancer drug shortageThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently working with the pharmaceuticals industry to combat a cancer drug shortage, which could affect millions.

Other critical drugs have been in short supply, such as generic sterile injectibles, but drugs used for cancer care are of special concern, according to a recent article on the website OncLive.

“The crisis has been particularly bad in cancer care,” Richard Schilsky, professor of medicine and hematology/oncology section chief at the University of Chicago, told OncLive. “Some of the drugs in shortage are decades old, but irreplaceable. Patient care has been threatened, in many cases."

Schilsky added that it creates uncertainty and makes it difficult for doctors to plan treatment if there is a drug shortage.

The source also quoted Michael Link, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and professor of pediatric hematology/oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, who said 22 cancer therapy drugs have been in short supply in the past two years.

Drug shortages have made the role of Medical Sciences Liaisons increasingly important, as MSLs are critical links between pharmaceutical companies and other key players in the healthcare realm. The consultant group Best Practices recently released a report on how MSLs can be most effective.
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