NEJM: Cancer Drug Shortage Relates to Economics
A perspective in this week's New England Journal of Medicine outlines this connection. Meanwhile, a House Democrat ramps up his investigation into the "gray market" and how it is contributing to the shortage.
Los Angeles Times: Shortage Of Cancer Drugs Tied To Simple Economics
Economics are no small part of the problem, according to a perspective published online this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. In this eye-opening report, a pharmacist and a physician explain why so many cancer drugs are in short supply and offer some prescriptions for how to fix things (Kaplan, 11/2).
CQ HealthBeat: Rep. Cummings Ramps Up Investigation On Drug Shortages
A top House Democrat is intensifying his investigation into the prescription drug "gray market" after a drug supplier stopped returning his calls and did not provide any of the documents he had requested. Elijah E. Cummings, ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, launched an investigation last month into five companies in an effort to examine the market in which critical medications that are in short supply are sold at extremely inflated prices. Cummings found that Superior Medical Supply, Inc., was selling paclitaxel, a drug used to treat breast and ovarian cancer, for more than $500 per vial — many times higher than the typical contract price (Ethridge, 11/2).
The Associated Press: Congressman Demands Info From 'Gray' Drug Marketer
A Maryland congressman for a second time is demanding a drug wholesaler answer questions about its handling of one of many lifesaving hospital drugs whose shortages have been disrupting patient care and leading to deaths. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has been probing alleged price-gouging by secondary suppliers accused of offering scarce drugs at huge markups (Johnson, 11/2).