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Nationwide shortage of chemotherapy drugs affecting local doctors

Breast Cancer And Hearts
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 09, 2023

A shortage of cancer treatment drugs in the United States is forcing some doctors to delay patient care and switch medications.

Cisplatin and carboplatin are two chemotherapy drugs that treat cancer. Recently, cancer centers have started to be affected by a shortage.

“Today, we can’t get cisplatin. When we get to a point where we are out of it in the office, we have to talk about alternatives. The only one that I can think about is changing the treatment,” said Jennifer Quezada, Office Manager at PCR Oncology in Arroyo Grande.

Quezada says they have been dealing with drug shortages for a while. She says that if they get to the point where they are low or out of the medication, they will have to talk about switching treatments for the patient.

“So if it happens, then I have to go to my library next and ask what are my alternatives? What’s my next choice? And what’s my patient’s next choice?” said Dr. David Palcheck, Medical Oncologist at PCR Oncology.

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 93% of cancer centers across the country have reported a shortage of chemotherapy drugs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it will work with a Chinese drugmaker to import cisplatin to boost the supply.