Chemotherapy Drug Shortage Impacts Ovarian Cancer Treatment and Mental Health

A recent article from Stat News reports that as the United States continues to face a concerning shortage of vital chemotherapy drugs, ovarian cancer patients are among the hardest hit. 

According to Stat News, nearly 93% of U.S. cancer centers are reporting shortages of carboplatin, which is the most common first-line treatment for ovarian cancer. Further, 70% of centers report shortages of cisplatin — another effective treatment which is sometimes prescribed in place of carboplatin. 

Read OCRA’s statement about the national chemotherapy drug shortage.

Although alternative treatments are available, none have matched the efficacy of these platinum-based drugs, especially carboplatin. 

Stephanie Blank, the director of gynecologic oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System, emphasized the severity of the situation with Stat News, saying, “These are first-line drugs. These are the bread and butter of treatment for cancer. These are the ones that the evidence shows are the most important drugs for treating ovarian cancer.”

The ongoing drug shortages are not only causing treatment disruptions, but also heightening emotional distress among patients. 

Tracy Moore, LCSW, OCRA’s Vice President, Support & Education, highlighted the growing anxiety among the ovarian cancer community, stating, “The shortages are cause for concern even among patients who haven’t personally been affected — at least, not yet. They may have access to the drug, but the concept that there is a shortage is having an emotional toll on many.” 

Are you or a loved one facing a gynecologic cancer diagnosis? OCRA is here for you.
View our support programs and reach out today.

The ongoing situation underscores the urgent need to ensure consistent access to essential treatments for all patients. OCRA will continue to provide updates and resources as they become available. 

Read the full article, “Why drug shortages are having an outsize impact on ovarian cancer patients,” by Annalisa Merelli, published on August 16th for Stat News.

Posted on in Community, OCRA News, Research