Chemo drug shortage

Ya think the Dr's would be smart enough to tell you that they are substituting your chemo drug with a similar one!!!!! Two weeks ago my son went in for his chemo, was supposed to get daunomycin. He get's it as the last treatment in his chemo cycle, he's gotten it 4 times before, no real side effects. This time, terrible stomach issues. We find out that that there is a nationwide shortage of daunomycin, so they substituted another chemo drug that's in the same family. That's just great, nobody tells him, nobody tells him that there might be different side effects (the Dr's know that he has stomach issues from the chemo drugs). They could have warned him of additional side effects. Could have written the script for Atavan a little sooner so he wouldn't have had to suffer for 24 hours before getting it. He goes for his blood counts today, what do you know, his white counts are low (lower than normal after receiving treatment). Why, side effect of the alternate chemo drug. Now his next cycle and last cycle of chemo (he's been in chemo for 13 months) is now delayed for start another week in order for his counts to come up. So now he won't be done with chemo until the 1st week of Oct. His Dr's are usually great, not too pleased with them now.:mad2:


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  • That's terrible! Hope the rest of your son's treatment goes okay.
  • it's not the docs' fault there's a shortage. The shortage has been going on for quite some time now and is affecting a lot of people who take quite a variety of drugs. While it's disappointing they weren't more forthcoming with you about it, there's not exactly much they can really do about it. It's quite likely they forgot to say anything because they thought you've already been informed about it.
  • Not complaining about the shortage, the drug companies are the issue - not enough profit (sounds like the oil companies) - We called the Dr out yesterday on not telling us, he realized he made a mistake. The one thing is you have to be able to trust your Drs.
  • Mark Silverman;4514 said:
    not enough profit (sounds like the oil companies)
    My oncologist is always ranting about this issue with the drug companies. One drug I received (Mylotarg - I got one dose of it) during my treatment was pulled from the market by the manufacturer because one study out of several showed no increase in survival, and the drug co didn't want to invest in more studies to find out if those results were flukes (my onc. believes they were flukes) or indicative of a trend.

    Another one of the drugs I received in treatment (the major one I received 9 doses of - cytarabine) is involved in the shortage simply because it's an older less profitable drug. Nevermind that it has helped a lot of people and it is still the best drug for treating different types of leukemia.

    I tend to trust my onc's judgement on a lot of these things. He's the Director of Hematopoiesis Research at MD Anderson, so he knows a few things about studies.