Cancer patients facing delays in receiving paclitaxel

The FDA released information today regarding manufacturing delays and an increase in demand for paclitaxel injection, a generic drug used for many different types of cancers. (You can read the full brief at FDA Drug Shortages.)This marks only the latest cancer drug shortage. Problems with paclitaxel availability were first announced in May (more information can be found in Drug Shortages Leave Cancer Patients at Risk via Medpage Today).The New York Times published an excellent opinion piece this past weekend by Ezekiel J. Emanuel (Shortchanging Cancer Patients) that explained how and why so many of these drug shortages are happening -- all of which are generic and inexpensive drugs. We'll be reporting more on this topic in an upcoming CURE issue, so stay tuned. In the meantime, let us know if and how you've been affected by the recent drug shortages.