ASCO 2013: Drug shortage impacts oncologists, patients (VIDEO)
June 4, 2013 | by Hiu Chung So
The annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) offers more than a way to highlight the numerous advances toward a cure for cancer. It also allows for reflection on barriers to quality research and optimal care. A briefing Friday focused on the impact of declining public funds for cancer research; today, a presentation called attention to the prevailing problem of cancer drug shortages. For this report, ASCO had randomly selected its members for a survey from March to September 2012. Of the 250 responses received, 214 were used for this study. Among the findings:
- More than 80 percent of oncologists and hematologists reported experiencing drug shortages during that period.
- A total of 94 percent said the shortage had affected treatment, and 83 percent said they were unable to prescribe standard chemotherapy.
- Approximately 13 percent said the shortage lowered patients' enrollment – or caused them to suspend participation – in clinical trials.
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