Local News

Will There Be Enough Cancer Meds For Everyone Who Needs Them?

NewsChannel10.com (Website of KFDA-TV), Amarillo
There's a concerning shortage of cancer drugs across the country, and that's making it tough for pharmacies in the Panhandle to meet local demand. 

As of now, there are more than 150 drugs in short supply. Many of them are used to treat common cancers, such as breast, lung, colon and leukemia.

Much of the shortage is being attributed to the fact most of the raw materials to make the drugs come from overseas, and the FDA is getting pickier about what it accepts.

Dr. Vance Esler with Texas Oncology says, "Sometimes it's production problems. Sometimes they can't get the raw materials. Sometimes the problem is with the factory. The FDA or some inspector finds a problem with the plant. When you've only got one manufacturer who makes that and something happens at the plant, it takes a while to crank up and make some more, especially if you start over." 

So far, cancer centers in the Panhandle have not had to deny anyone treatment, but they have had to get creative with alternative therapies."

They're worried that if the situation gets much worse, some patients could go without the treatment they need.

Texas Oncology-Amarillo Cancer Center
Texas Oncology Services