Bay Area patients battling cancer and other chronic diseases are increasingly facing yet another obstacle in the fight against their disease – drug shortages. A couple of biggies in the blood cancer world are on this fairly extensive list: methotrexate, a drug used to treat children with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL); cytarabine, a common treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and doxorubicin, a multiple myeloma drug.
Last October, President Obama issued an executive order instructing the FDA to broaden its reporting of potential shortages, expedite regulatory reviews that can help prevent shortages and investigate whether potential shortages have inflated pricing.
Since then, the shortage has compromised or delayed care for some patients.
Thankfully, two new suppliers for some of these drugs were approved last week. Bi-partisan legislation has also been introduced to help patients needing these drugs. The Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act warns the FDA when a medication is discontinued or experiences a production delay.
Here’s how you can help ensure Bay Area patients get the medicines they need!
1. Sign up to become a LLS advocate. It takes less than 2 minutes.
2. Visit http://www.lls.org/waystohelp/advocate/ and click the link to take action on this issue. A letter to your legislators (based on your login info) urging them to support the Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act will pop up. All you have to do is hit send and you are done. Less than 5 minutes total – really and truly.