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Sundance Feels the Leucovorin Shortage - Coming to a Pharmacy Near You:)

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4268
Joined: Jun 2009

It's the drug sensation - that's sweeping the nation....and the globe actually.

Well, interesting day at Infusion today...Sundance has finally been caught up in the Leucovorin "shortage."

The hospital has run out here in Texas as well...NCI or not. And they are not offering the Leucovorin pills that I've read some of you talk about....so I went without it today.

I'm being told that it should be a week or so; time will tell.

No doubt, that many of us will be "swept" up in this madness all across our nation and around the world, as well.

I talked to my technician today and the reason seems to be political; what else is new? Apparently, the drug companies want to create the shortage and now their plan is to INCREASE THE COST of Leucavorin, so look for an increase - it's coming to a mailbox near you.

Colocan opened a post about the upcoming shortage and I was talking about that article just minutes before I was informed that they were out and not part of my treatment today.

Ah, the Benjamins....who we won't float down the river to have some extra shackles in the wrong people's pockets. Who knew?

-Craig

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

and I believe that.........Greed, the American Way.....what a shame..........

coloCan
Posts: 1845
Joined: Oct 2009

The warnings about leucovorin, for instance, were first sounded over a year ago....Deliberate tampering with the "Supply and demand" of such life and death necessities such as cancer meds should be (fill in your own conclusion)....

I've always had an acute tho somewhat warped sense of justice which cancer has intensified immensely....Life seems to become so much more unnecessarily complicated the more "sivilized" we become.....

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2010

I don't think there is a real global shortage of leucovorin (LV). I've seen people remark about LV shortages in countries with strong government pharma protection like the FDA, and less competition. In countries like in Asia, with Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean sources, I haven't seen any leucovorin scarcity at all. The asians appear delighted to sell a few cents worth of folinic acid for 1-2 dollars. I wonder what supplies are like in Latin and South America, especially Brazil.

First, leucovorin is not that hard to manufacture, it is a reduced folate, somewhat similar to the common B vitamin, folic acid. LV is slightly harder to store long term since it is reduced, more subject to oxygen and heat. "Fresh" is best.

Also for those near a southern border, or with flights further south, a 90+ day script for oral leucovorin tid might be sufficient for Customs to allow 270-300 tablets in. Or, mailed in with a copy of the script and a contact phone number, before summer temperatures arrive. Personally, I keep the leucovorin in the airconditioning or fridge, 100%, and dry packed. Also, the first few milligrams are the most important, the extra leucovorin even at "low doses" like 15 mg tid chases fewer, and fewer remaining molecules.

I won't allow a total LV skip for any reason, I've already seen biomarkers leap without LV. I will either use multiple 800-1000 mcg folinic acid vitamin sized tablets, or get plane tickets if necessary. I would not let anyone or anything interfere with a prescribed LV treatment under any pretense, or reason.

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 2926
Joined: Jan 2010

On the C3 Colorectal Cancer Coalition web site there is an item about a “New” Leucovorin shortage which should be fixed soon. This article was posted on the site June 24, 2010!

It says there are only two companies in the US which produce this product: Bedford Labs and TEVA. If you read the comments below the article you will see posts up thru 2/14/11.

You will also see that there is no shortage in Canada of the TEVA product.

There is a phone number in the article for you to call if you are having difficulty getting this drug. They don’t say if they can help you get it or not, but might be worth the call.

Here is the web page: http://fightcolorectalcancer.org/research_news/2010/06/new_leucovorin_shortage_should_be_fixed_soon

There is a follow up article same site which says Teva pushes back date of availability to April 2011.
http://fightcolorectalcancer.org/tag/leucovorin_shortage

Craig, is there any way to determine if the shortage is just at your treatment facility or if it is available at some other facility you could get to?

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