Shortage of lifesaving chemo drugs adds to cancer patients' fears

Ingrid Perez and her 74-year-old mother, Martha, were stunned last week when they arrived for her mother's weekly chemo treatment for breast cancer.   

They were told there is a shortage of her chemo drug Carboplatin.  

"We just kind of looked at each other and said what do you mean?" Perez said. 

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The family is originally from New Jersey; Ingrid and her mom now live in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Her sister, Kattia, lives in New York and flies back and forth.  

"The doctor is literally in tears telling her that her medicine is not available," Solano said. 

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"At that point, they had to figure out what to do next, which in her case, to shift her to another treatment," Perez said.  

There are at least 10 lifesaving chemo drugs currently on the FDA's drug shortage list.  

"As institutions start to run out of chemotherapy or recognize that the shortage is going to be a little more prolonged, they'll start rationing the amount of product they're using.  They'll change patients to alternative treatments," Michael Ganio of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said.

Manufacturing issues have created cancer drug shortages.

"For citizens of the United States, being one of the most powerful countries in the world, this should not be happening!" Solano said.