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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Urges Government and Industry Action to Address Critical Cancer Drug Shortage



2/15/2012 9:22:56 AM

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has been acutely aware of the dire shortage of drugs used to treat patients with cancer since the matter first emerged last fall. There have been a number of drugs on the shortage list that specifically impact patients with a blood cancer, and this week in particular, attention has turned to the limited supplies of Methotrexate, a drug used to treat children with acute lymphocytic leukemia as well patients of all ages with other cancers.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110215/NY48642LOGO )

Patients and family members have been discussing the shortage on LLS's message boards and taking action through LLS's advocacy alert.

LLS urges patients and concerned family members and health care providers to contact their members of Congress (find your rep here) to impress upon them the urgency of the situation and the need to contact the four companies that manufacture Methotrexate in the U.S. and demand that they prioritize production of the preservative-free Methotrexate.

Among the other drugs on the shortage list that are used for blood cancer therapy are Daunorubicin, Dexamethasone, Doxorubicin. Cytarabine, a drug used to treat several types of leukemia and lymphoma, has also been on the shortage list. On October 20, 2011, the FDA announced that two of the three primary U.S. suppliers are now reporting good supply and the third is working to increase supply. However, as of January 31, 2012, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) still listed Cytarabine as being in short supply.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. www.lls.org.

Andrea Greif
(914) 821-8958
andrea.greif@lls.org

SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


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