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Bladder cancer and the 2023 cisplatin shortage

Article

The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network provides insight into the ongoing cisplatin shortage.

At the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, we believe that patients come first. Your concerns are our concerns, and we recognize the distress caused by drug shortages, particularly in light of the ongoing BCG shortage.

BCAN is aware of this troubling shortage, and we are monitoring the situation closely. We will continue to collaborate with our physician community to better understand the shortage as well as alternatives for patients.

BCAN is aware of this troubling shortage, and we are monitoring the situation closely. We will continue to collaborate with our physician community to better understand the shortage as well as alternatives for patients.

What is happening with cisplatin and bladder cancer?

On February 10, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a shortage in the supply of cisplatin, a drug used to treat bladder cancer since the 1970s via systemic chemotherapy. Given that this drug has been a staple in treatment, many in the patient and caregiver community are concerned, and we are too.

BCAN has learned that a principal supplier of the raw materials used in carboplatin and cisplatin in India temporarily suspended manufacturing of essential cancer drugs after FDA found severe quality-control issues, according to a compliance report from December 2022.1 According to reports, this shortage is due to last several months or more and this impacts bladder cancer patients.

What are others saying about the cisplatin shortage?

Other organizations are concerned about the situation as well like the American Society of Clinical Oncologists as well as the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) who have reported on the cisplatin shortage, along with estimated resupply dates. Some physician-focused organizations like Society of Gynecologic Oncology have issued recommendations to doctors to “conserve carboplatin and cisplatin and allocate the limited supply to those patients who will experience the most significant benefit.” We are also hearing that some academic medical centers have begun rationing cisplatin.

What about bladder cancer patients?

BCAN is aware of this troubling shortage, and we are monitoring the situation closely. We will continue to collaborate with our physician community to better understand the shortage as well as alternatives for patients.

We encourage everyone in our community to learn more about their treatment options and offer a tool to help search for and compare bladder cancer treatments.

Reference

1. Sourced from the Cancer Letter, May 26, 2023. https://cancerletter.com/the-cancer-letter/20230526_2/

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