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Nationwide Cisplatin shortage?

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  • Nationwide Cisplatin shortage?

    Just wondering what others have heard...

    My husband has chosen to do 1x BEP for Stage 1B non seminoma. We were sent into a momentary panic this afternoon after the oncologist called to say there isn't enough of the stuff to go around (U.S. only as far as I know). They called later to say they had pulled a few "pharmacy strings" and he can start on Monday as scheduled. Don't know what to make of all this...

  • #2
    I've never heard of this before. I do know there was a Bleomycin shortage a few years back so those that were about to do 3 x BEP had to do 4 x EP. Cisplatin is such a critical drug for so many illnesses that this is quite surprising! Your husband isn't going to get a huge dose of cisplatin so I'm surprised to hear your oncologist call you about that.
    Diagnosed at age 31. Treated in NYC. Now living in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

    7/1/2015: felt tiny lump on side of R testicle
    7/30/2015: Ultrasound shows 2 intra-testicular masses.
    7/31/2015: tumor markers normal, CXR clear
    8/5/2015: R orchiectomy
    8/11/2015: Pathology: 1.2 x 1.0 x 1.0 cm, embryonal 80%, seminoma 20%, with LVI and rete testis invasion
    8/14/2015: CT abdomen/pelvis clear, Stage 1b
    8/24/2015: started 1 x BEP

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    • #3
      I checked for you and as of today the FDA does not have Cisplatin listed on their shortage page but they are likely behind on the site and I have included the link for reference. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/

      However, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists page does have the shortage listed http://www.ashp.org/menu/DrugShortag...tin.aspx?id=57

      It does not appear that the shortage is super critical as there are multiple manufacturers and product available. Most hospital pharmacies should be more than used to these kind of things and have a work around to avoid patients missing treatments. However, in smaller institutions put on allocation then it may be a little difficult for them. Basically, the drug companies will allocate shipments based on past usage to try to combat the hospitals desire to stockpile during periods of short supply.

      If you do find yourself in a situation where your facility is telling you that that your treatments are going to be delayed because they can not get cisplatin then please contact the Testicular Cancer Society http://www.testicularcancersociety.org/contact.html and with your permission I am more than happy to contact the hospital's pharmacy department and find a resolution for your individual case. After 20 years in hospital pharmacies I am a bit used to these things and am more than happy to help.

      Mike Craycraft
      Oct. 2005 felt lump but waited over 7 months.
      06.15.06 "You have Cancer"
      06.26.06 Left I/O
      06.29.06 Personal Cancer Diagnosis Date: Got my own pathology report from medical records.
      06.30.06 It's Official - Stage I Seminoma
      Surveillance...
      Founded the Testicular Cancer Society
      6.29.13 Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7th Cancerversary

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies... Mike, you do a great service for those of us trying to navigate through all this. We chose to go with a smaller practice for the personal attention but never considered it may be more difficult for them to get all the drugs we need. The doctor and staff have mentioned to us a few times that they don't see too many TC patients (my husband compared oncology to bird watching the other night and said TC patients are like the snowy owls.. ).. so what you said about allocation makes perfect sense in our situation. They were calling around to the hospital pharmacies and another, larger oncology practice in the area before they found it.

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        • #5
          I am glad to hear that they were able to call around and find it. The shortages make things more difficult but usually there is a resolution. The protocol for testicular cancer is really pretty simple and with BEP x 1 it should be even simpler. The key is sticking to the doses and schedule unless there is a compelling reason to stray. Sometimes, less experienced centers may be more likely to reduce or hold doses, less experienced with handling side effects or lack that weathered anecdotal experience to make the harder decisions. In your husband's situation I think choosing a local smaller place is just fine. Although, I always say, the more eyes on you the better, meaning that if you can get oversight from more experienced clinicians then it is never a bad thing. Best of luck on the cycle.

          Mike
          Oct. 2005 felt lump but waited over 7 months.
          06.15.06 "You have Cancer"
          06.26.06 Left I/O
          06.29.06 Personal Cancer Diagnosis Date: Got my own pathology report from medical records.
          06.30.06 It's Official - Stage I Seminoma
          Surveillance...
          Founded the Testicular Cancer Society
          6.29.13 Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7th Cancerversary

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