This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

New Research Indicating Serious Potential Risks To Cancer Patients From Oncology Drug Shortages

GLENVIEW, Ill., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) has released a survey of oncology pharmacists which warns that oncology drug shortages happen often and have serious negative consequences on cancer patients in the United States. Published in the April 1, 2013 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, the survey was completed by hematology/oncology pharmacists, who care for cancer patients in all phases of treatment and are uniquely positioned to provide insight on oncology drug shortages.

"Although several national surveys have characterized the impact of drug shortages on patient care, this is the first national drug shortage survey to focus on oncology drug shortages. Our survey demonstrates that delays and changes in chemotherapy occur frequently during shortages and ultimately increase the risk of medication errors and cost. Additionally, drug shortages complicate clinical research, which may delay bringing new cancer therapies to patients," says HOPA President and study coauthor, Lisa M. Holle, PharmD, BCOP.

Key findings show 98% of respondents reported experiencing an oncology drug shortage in 2011 and requires substantial time that is diverted from other important activities for cancer patients. Some 34% of organizations spend 1000 or more personnel hours managing oncology drug shortages, and 85% reported drug shortages increase drug costs to the institution, which may be passed on to the insurer or patient.

Shortages negatively impact the care of patients with cancer, in fact, 93% of respondents reported a delay in chemotherapy administration or change to a different treatment. In addition, shortages prompt the use of alternative regimens, and unfamiliarity with new regimens increases the risk for medication errors and adverse events.

"Use of alternative chemotherapy due to drug shortages is particularly concerning for patient safety. In some cases, similar chemotherapy simply does not exist or there may be limited data available for the alternative drug. Recent data from another study linked use of alternative chemotherapy due to shortages to a greater risk of relapse in Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Our survey also shows that using alternative agents can also be error prone or lead to adverse events," James M. Hoffman, PharmD, MS, the study's senior author and Medication Outcomes and Safety Officer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

In specific cases, respondents mentioned that change to protocols, omission of medications from clinical studies, and stockpiling of drugs were enforced in order to continue clinical trial completion. According to the survey, 44% of institutions claimed drug shortages affected clinical trials, with 44% mainly experiencing delays in patient enrollment and/or 67% choosing not to enroll patients at all.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs