94% of Cancer Doctors Say Patients Affected by Drug Shortages

This seems like the type of headline you’d expect to see in a 3rd world country not the US.  But, we’ve been talking about drug shortages for years, and while it may be better in a few areas, cancer isn’t one of them.

I was recently reminded of this in an AJMC article which was discussed at ASCO and had this data point about 94% of oncologists and hematologists from a University of Pennsylvania study.  

Looking back a few years, I think IMS did one of the best studies on this topic.  Here’s a few of the items they highlight from the study (with links to their charts).

It can be a little mind-boggling.

  • Is it an issue of planning and forecasting demand?
  • Is it an economic issue of not enough profit in these drugs?
  • Is it an issue of quality where these get shut down due to manufacturing issues?
  • Is it a structural issue of too few suppliers?
  • Is it a raw materials issue?
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