Methotrexate shortage 'dire'

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The US supply of the chemotherapy drug methtrexate is so severe that the current stores in hospitals may only be enough for two weeks, according to a report in the New York Times.

Calling the situation 'dire', Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Food and Drug Administration’s drug shortages program added that supplies "are just not meeting demand.”

This is an especially serious situation for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an otherwise highly treatable disease that uses methotrexate to prevent the disease from spreading to the central nervous system.

The drug is also used in a variety of combination chemotherapy regimens, including those for breast cancer, some oral cancers, and some other hematologic cancers.

In the history of chemotherapy, methotrexate was the second drug ever developed after nitrogen mustard.

Source: New York Times

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