Oklahoma Doctors Worry About Cancer Drug Shortage - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma Doctors Worry About Cancer Drug Shortage

Posted: Updated:
Paclitaxel, the most popular drug used for lung and breast cancer, is the hardest to find. Paclitaxel, the most popular drug used for lung and breast cancer, is the hardest to find.

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A national drug shortage is hitting Oklahoma. Life saving cancer medication is in short supply, and this has local doctors worried.

Doctors are having to make do. They're saving the medicine for cancer patients who need it the most. And in some cases, they're substituting the drugs that are in critical shortage.

"We don't like to do that," said Dr. Patrick Medina with the Oklahoma Cancer Center. "We like patients to stay on the same drug that the doctors want them on."

At the Oklahoma Cancer Center, pharmacists mix cancer medicine on site. The IV's are delivered to nurses for chemotherapy patients.

But doctors say keeping these vials in stock is a challenge.

"We're constantly trying to figure out where we're getting drugs from. How much we have in supply, and what patients are going to get it," Dr. Medina said.

Paclitaxel, the most popular drug used for lung and breast cancer, is the hardest to find.

"It's mainly because of problems at the manufacturing sites. They found bacteria and other things within the cancer drugs that are not safe to patients and have had to shut down a lot of plants," Dr. Medina said.

Dr. Medina says the Oklahoma Cancer Center has enough medicine to get them through September. That's when the manufacturer is supposed to release more. But even that is a dangerous waiting game.

"The last thing we want to do is tell a patient we can't give you the drug that's prescribed by physician that he thinks is best for you,"Dr. Medina said.

Dr. Medina says the medicine is actually very inexpensive, but because of the lack of drugs, prices have risen as much as 10 to 20 percent.

News 9 was told that Congress is now looking into solutions to ease the shortage.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a website that lists all the drugs in short supply, click here to see the complete list.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.