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Cancer Patients are Unable to get Their Usual Treatment

By: Isabella Wong

For years, medical experts have been trying to find a cure for the fatal illness cancer, but were only able to come up with treatment options. Patients rely on chemotherapy, surgery, and of course, on medication to halt the spread of this disease.

On November 22, 2022, the FDA found evidence that suggests an effort to cover up problems at the Intas Pharmaceuticals plant south of Ahmedabad, India. This is the plant that provides the United States with more than 50% of the drugs used in cancer medications. In particular, it supplies methotrexate, a key component in drugs used to treat up to 500,000 ill patients. As a result of the faulty drug production system, a methotrexate shortage was announced.

“All day, in between patients, we hold staff meetings trying to figure this out,” Dr. Bonny Moore, an oncologist explained. “Our office stayed open during COVID; we never had to stop treating patients. We got them vaccinated, kept them safe, and now I can’t get them a $10 drug.”

This problem isn’t in just one clinic. More than 10 clinics explained how due to the methotrexate drug shortage, medical workers had to prioritize the treatment medication for the patients in the later stages or the more severe of cancer. Additionally, they have to lower the doses of medication so that enough could be distributed to other patients. That is the temporary solution to this problem until officials find a way to continue the production and distribution of cancer drugs to the United States.

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