Cancer Drug Shortages Cause Concern Nationwide Cancer Drug Shortages Cause Concern Nationwide

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Throughout the country, hospitals have been suffering from a shortage of two cancer drugs, called carboplastin and cisplastin.

The shortage began after the Federal Drug Administration stopped an Indian manufacturer from shipping the drug. The manufacturer, known as Intas, was warned to stop shipping the drugs because there were concerns over its quality.

Patrick Penfield, a supply chain expert and Syracuse University professor, said the manufacturer violated rules.

“It’s all a bunch of things some bacteria contamination. Some of the rules they are not following,” Penfield said. “There’s been some other stuff suspect situations that are going on within that factory. And so because of those issues and I think it was going to 11, the FDA said, hey, look, you can’t ship any more part to United States until we fix these problems.”

Penfield also said that these quality control issues have to do with the manufacturers creating the generic version of the drug. He said because it’s generic, the manufacturer’s profit margins are small.

“When a company discovers a product or actually makes a product, they have a patent and especially with the pharmaceutical industry, once those products come off patent, then they go to what are called generic manufacturers,” Penfield said. “And so, the generic manufacturers, they don’t make a ton of money off these drugs. So their margins are really very, very, very razor thin. And so what tends to happen is that they start to cut corners in order to try to preserve that margin.”

While there doesn’t appear to be a plan in place to resolve this national concern, Penfield has said that domestic manufacturers should be utilized to create these drugs. If the product is made here in the U.S., then there’s a better chance to monitor the quality of the product.

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