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reports concerning drug shortages hitting media again

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

this time with more drugs than ever before, as per




One item that might concern some here is Leucovorin, which has been in short supply for quite some time now

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Now I'll have to go back to buying them on the street corner.
"Much of the blame for the shortages is being directed at the federal government's new efforts to ensure that drugs are safe. In some cases, that involves the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanding that manufacturing is halted while quality concerns are straightened out, the Tribune explained."

Can't they make them safe and on time?

Thanks Steve

Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

that the very first intravenous chemotherapy treatment for cancer occurred at Yale in 1942...

Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

Thanks for keeping us informed! Interesting, we haven't had the leucovorin shortage in Canada, at least not at my cancer center.

Lori-S's picture
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

My last 2 infusions I was given the leucovorin (folonic acid) in pill form instead of IV due to the shortage. At that time I was told that they expected to shortage to last until probably April or May and that we would get pills instead of IV until then.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I read 2 articles the last time this came out that said with leucovorin specifically the drug manufacturer was forcing the issue so more insurance companies would start covering the much more expensive pill form of the same drug.

Capitalism at it's finest and I find it sickening!

Lisa P.

Love2Cats's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Dec 2010

What comes next, are they gonna line up all us chemo patients at the infusion centers, like waiting in the gas lines in the 1970's?!

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Since I recently went from taking Xeloda back to the 5FU pump, which requires leucovorin by IV each time, this was a concern I raised with my oncologist a couple of weeks ago. He said that Europe has another drug that is very similar to leucovorin and can be used in place of it (wish I could remember the name of it), but most insurance companies here won't pay for it. Apparently Medicare WILL pay for it, so my onc says that all the Medicare patients are given that drug and they save the leucovorin for everyone else who needs it who isn't on Medicare. So, I was told I won't have a problem and will get the actual leucovorin each time. I hope that will continue to be the situation.
Maybe other oncology offices already know about this other drug from Europe that medicare will pay for in lieu of leucovorin. If not, it might be worth asking your oncologist, if that's a concern for you.


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Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2009

I don't think FDA has approved it yet and dosage is different than that of Leucovorin...There are shortages of chemo used for other types of cancer as well, such as lung and bladder....Makes one wonder....

tanstaafl's picture
Posts: 1299
Joined: Oct 2010

Overseas, in asia, 15 mg leucovorin tablets go for ca $1-$2.50 each, depending on brands, sales venue and country. Injectable leucovorin, maybe same price (India), maybe 2-3 times more. Haven't seen any shortage. I can call and get a delivery on my doorstep same day or next morning, for under $1.25 per tab.

Even that I figure has wide margins, they deliver with alacrity.

Maybe it's time to go try that new Indian or Thai restuarant down the street and meet new friends.

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