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Pediatric Cancer Community Facing a Shortage of Necessary Medicines

A shortage of a cancer drug within the pediatric oncology community reportedly has doctors scrambling, as the only producer left within the U.S. races to ramp up production. The drug, vincristine, was produced by each Teva Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Inc. within the United States till July when the former ceased to make it.
Oncologists said the drug had been a staple for decades in treatment regiments for their younger patients who’re dealing with several forms of cancer, including leukemia as well as brain tumors. Still, on the FDA website vincristine sulfate injection, USP is listed as at the moment in shortage, with the next deliveries considered for late October, and the scarcity expected to last until December and into January.
Doctors say there isn’t any substitute or comparable generic version available, which means they could have to start rationing their doses.
A spokesperson for Teva informed the News channel in the email that the decision to terminate production of the drug based on the necessity, and that it has not contributed to the current shortage.
Pfizer mentioned in a statement Tuesday that it has now taken steps to “expediting extra shipments of this crucial product over the next few weeks to support three to four times our typical production output,” FiercePharma reported. “Pfizer is dedicated to providing this essential medicine to patients.”
“It scares obviously,” Nicole Starace, whose 6-year-old son’s leukemia treatment requires vincristine, told Newsday. “It’s something that’s part of his treatment that’s protecting him on the correct path to being cured.”

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