Monday, September 19, 2011

CBS News Report on Doxil Misses Some of the Point

Gray Kitty wondering about Gray market drugs
Finally, there is  more nationwide focus by CBS News on the nationwide shortage of Doxil and the other shortages in over 200 drugs.  Unfortunately, after starting out strong on the Doxil problem, this show shifts its focus to  the gray market for drug shortages, which is likely a side effect of the shortages rather than a cause.  The CBS piece also suggests that demand for these chemo drugs is up when we know from looking at the ASHP schedules that in fact supply is down. For example, the ASHP report says "Bedford discontinued carboplatin in May, 2011 to concentrate on the manufacturing of other products."  The manufacturers have other drugs to make that are more profitable so cancer patients who need generics like carboplatin, cisplatin, Taxol,  fluorouracil, 5-FU and doxorubicin.  While I deplore those in the gray market profiting from the shortages, let's not lose sight that they did not cause the shortages in the first instance.  Let's keep our focus on the drug companies, who made manufacturing decisions to cut supplies, while demand for certain chemotherapies was going up. 

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