Richard Pazdur, FDA's OCE director (Flatiron Health via YouTube)

FDA's can­cer chief weighs in on com­mon chemo short­ages — re­port

Richard Paz­dur, di­rec­tor of the FDA’s On­col­o­gy Cen­ter of Ex­cel­lence, at­trib­ut­es the cur­rent short­age of two can­cer drugs to drug com­pa­nies that haven’t in­vest­ed in build­ing out their pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ty.

In an in­ter­view with The Can­cer Let­ter, a week­ly can­cer pub­li­ca­tion, Paz­dur said that the cur­rent short­ages of cis­platin and car­bo­platin, a pair of drugs used to treat a wide range of can­cer pa­tients, are the re­sult of two prob­lems: man­u­fac­tur­ers not in­vest­ing in en­hanc­ing pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ty, and drug com­pa­nies be­ing de­pen­dent on one sup­pli­er of raw in­gre­di­ents. The cis­platin short­age fol­lowed an in­spec­tion that re­vealed qual­i­ty is­sues at a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty, which then led to the shut­down of pro­duc­tion. This led to a surge in car­bo­platin de­mand, cre­at­ing a sec­ondary short­age.

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