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Kansas Doctors Warn of Cancer Drug Shortage

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WICHITA, Kan. (KNS) — A national shortage of cancer drugs is forcing some Kansas doctors to ration medication. The Kansas News Service reports that supply chain issues have squeezed supplies of more than a dozen chemotherapy drugs. The shortage is hurting treatment for breast, bladder and gynecological cancers.

Kyla Bidne, an oncology pharmacist at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Cancer Center, says its drug shipments are sporadic, and doctors are cutting patients’ chemo doses by up to 10% to stretch supplies. “I lose sleep over this,” she said. “These drugs are part of so many different cancer treatments, so it’s a very dire shortage.” She says doctors could need to delay some treatments if the problem continues.

Bidne says the shortage is the worst she’s seen in her 20 years as an oncology pharmacist. “One of the biggest issues is we really don’t know from day to day when we’re going to receive a drug or if we’re going to receive drug, so we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best,” she said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering temporarily importing drugs from unauthorized overseas manufacturers to help mitigate the shortage.