MANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS ARE IN SHORT SUPPLY NATIONALLY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A disturbing shortage of medications has recently been reported using federal data, with some of those drugs critical for successful cancer treatment. In particular a drug called cyterabine, used to treat one form of leukemia, is leaving patients and physicians scrambling. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says even though need can be estimated, other factors are compromising supply.
NELSON: I think you can sort of estimate the supply of drug thatís needed but for cyterabine that estimate was present I think the problem was there was a difficulty in manufacturing. So Iím not sure that additional oversight will be effective or not. I think managing where around the earth the drugs come from and ensuring that all the drug pipelines if you will are safe and effective is probably what the Food and Drug Administration is going to do. :24
Nelson says manufacturers may need incentives to produce drugs that are only used by a limited number of people. At Johns Hopkins, Iím Elizabeth Tracey.