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Shortage of Cancer Drugs Has Doctors Scrambling

June 8, 2011 -- Cancer medicines desperately needed by sick children and adults are in short supply, undermining the ability of U.S. doctors to administer treatments, top oncologists warned this week.

Many drugs are scarce because there is no incentive for drugmakers to manufacture low-cost generics, which have slim profit margins for pharmaceutical companies. Doctors do not expect that equation to change any time soon, making them scramble to find acceptable alternatives, or to ration or delay treatment when they cannot.

Generic chemotherapy drugs are in particularly tight supply at the nation's hospitals, including mainstay cancer treatments such as cisplatin, doxorubicin, cytarabine and leucovorin.

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Source: Reuters

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