Montgomery feels pinch of nationwide cancer drug shortage

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery Cancer Center treats more than a hundred patients a day. So, a shortage of drugs used to treat those patients is cause for concern.

Dr. Stephen Davidson is a medical oncologist at the center. He's also president of the Alabama Society of Clinical Oncology. He says,"we have been aware of difficulties in getting generic pharmaceuticals for some time now."

So what is behind the shortages?. The FDA says manufacturing problems and delays are the main reasons, as well as drugs being discontinued. In a statement, the agency said most shortages involve older drugs made by fewer manufacturers and says, "these drugs often get discontinued by companies and replaced by more profitable, newer drugs. FDA continues to do all we can within our authority to resolve these shortages."

"We have not been in a bind yet where a patient needed a drug and we could not provide it, but we've been close," says Dr. Davidson.

The shortage extends to many other drugs, as well, including electrolytes used in IVs.

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