Navigation Links
New Research Indicating Serious Potential Risks To Cancer Patients From Oncology Drug Shortages

GLENVIEW, Ill., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) has released a survey of oncology pharmacists which warns that oncology drug shortages happen often and have serious negative consequences on cancer patients in the United States. Published in the April 1, 2013 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, the survey was completed by hematology/oncology pharmacists, who care for cancer patients in all phases of treatment and are uniquely positioned to provide insight on oncology drug shortages.

"Although several national surveys have characterized the impact of drug shortages on patient care, this is the first national drug shortage survey to focus on oncology drug shortages. Our survey demonstrates that delays and changes in chemotherapy occur frequently during shortages and ultimately increase the risk of medication errors and cost. Additionally, drug shortages complicate clinical research, which may delay bringing new cancer therapies to patients," says HOPA President and study coauthor, Lisa M. Holle , PharmD, BCOP.

Key findings show 98% of respondents reported experiencing an oncology drug shortage in 2011 and requires substantial time that is diverted from other important activities for cancer patients. Some 34% of organizations spend 1000 or more personnel hours managing oncology drug shortages, and 85% reported drug shortages increase drug costs to the institution, which may be passed on to the insurer or patient.

Shortages negatively impact the care of patients with cancer, in fact, 93% of respondents reported a delay in chemotherapy administration or change to a different treatment. In addition, shortages prompt the use of alternative regimens, and unfamiliarity with new regimens increases the risk for medication errors and adverse events.

"Use of alternative chemotherapy due to drug shortages is particularly concerning for patient safety. In some cases, similar chemotherapy simply does not exist or there may be limited data available for the alternative drug. Recent data from another study linked use of alternative chemotherapy due to shortages to a greater risk of relapse in Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Our survey also shows that using alternative agents can also be error prone or lead to adverse events," James M. Hoffman , PharmD, MS, the study's senior author and Medication Outcomes and Safety Officer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

In specific cases, respondents mentioned that change to protocols, omission of medications from clinical studies, and stockpiling of drugs were enforced in order to continue clinical trial completion. According to the survey, 44% of institutions claimed drug shortages affected clinical trials, with 44% mainly experiencing delays in patient enrollment and/or 67% choosing not to enroll patients at all.

"Oncology drug shortages can lead to devastating effects, as there is little interchangeability between oncology drug therapies. The loss of one drug, as seen with cytarabine [for treatment of AML], can prevent the effective use of a myriad of chemotherapeutic regimens for leukemia. In other cases, oncology drug shortages may affect numerous disease states as seen with leuocovorin or liposomal doxorubicin. The clinical impact of these shortages has lead to numerous adverse clinical outcomes," says Ali McBride , PharmD, MS, BCPS, study author.

Niesha Griffith , MS, RPh, FASHP, incoming HOPA President, stated that "HOPA is committed to continuing its advocacy efforts and working with government agencies, and other patient and provider organizations who represent the best interests of individuals and their families suffering from this disease." HOPA feels strongly that individuals with cancer should not shoulder the burden of drug shortages in addition to stresses of cancer and cancer treatment and is committed to advocating methods to avoid and manage future drug shortages. To see more about HOPA's advocacy efforts, visit (


HOPA is a nonprofit professional organization launched in 2004 in order to help oncology and hematology pharmacy practitioners and their associates provide the best possible cancer care. HOPA has more than 1900 members and includes oncology pharmacists, as well as pharmacy interns, residents, nurses, technicians, researchers, and administrators specializing in hematology/oncology practice.

SOURCE Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA)
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Millennium Research Group Sponsors Case Competition at Western University for Second Year
2. Research and Markets Announces the Release of Autoimmune Disease Therapeutics to 2016. Targets, Technologies, Therapies, Markets and Opportunities
3. Hologics 3D Mammography Technology to be the "New Standard of Care," According to Healthcare Research Firm KLAS
4. Nanotechnology Market Research Review and Conference Opportunities
5. CVS Caremark Research Finds Medication Adherence Can Improve Outcomes and Reduce Costs for Patients with Coronary Artery Disease
6. National Pharmaceutical Council Survey Shows Health Care Stakeholders Continue to Show Optimism About the Future Role of Comparative Effectiveness Research
7. Research-based Pharmaceutical Industry and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Join Forces to Prevent Non-Communicable Diseases
8. Radiofrequency Ablation Devices Market for Pain Management is Expected to Reach USD 1.0 Billion Globally in 2018: Transparency Market Research
9. Morning Research on Sequenom, Peregrine Pharma, Onyx Pharma, and Inovio Pharma
10. Researchers Expect a Marginal Increase in Laboratory Product Budgets for 2013, Finds Frost & Sullivan
11. Salix Pharmaceuticals Commits $1.125M to AGA Research Foundation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... Ill. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... a global biopharmaceutical leader dedicated to delivering ... and underserved medical conditions, today announced the ... Factor (Recombinant), PEGylated], an extended circulating half-life ... A based on full-length ADVATE [Antihemophilic Factor ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... --> --> ... by Product (Soft Tissue, All Tissue, Dental Welding Lasers), Application ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, is ... CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period from 2015 to ... 62 Figures spread through 167 P ages and in-depth ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... JERUSALEM , Nov. 30, 2015 Oramed ... company focused on the development of oral drug delivery ... investment agreements valued at up to $50,000,000 with Hefei Tianhui Incubator of ... Oramed,s oral insulin capsule, ORMD-0801, in China ... Macau . The agreements were signed ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... disease-causing component of bacteria could be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), ... University. , Their study showed that small molecule analogs that target the functions ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... choice for innovative, patient centered orthopedic care. Led by John Vitolo, M.D., ... injury or chronic condition, the team at Advocare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Newly reviewed and approved “NJ ... NJ. He has both advanced training and considerable experience in reconstructive dentistry ... expert in cosmetic dentistry. He is an active Spear Education member providing ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS) reveals that in 2014, someone ... 3 million cases, over two million of which were human exposure cases. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... promoting breast and prostate cancer education and prevention—is joining forces with the award-winning ... philanthropy and Hollywood elegance on December 7, 2015 at the Union League of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):