Local doctor speaks out on cancer drug shortages


POSTED: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 3:52pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 7:33am

A new study shows there is a drug shortage in cancer medications, which is endangering cancer patients.

Dr. Eugenio Galindo is an M.D. and Oncologist out of Edinburg. He explains the impacts, which this is having on cancer patients. Galindo says,  "To change treatments because of lack of medication, there was an issue approximately several months ago in which a medication was stopped in the production."

And when medications are discontinued this affects patients during their treatment process.  Galindo says, "And see a patient and then sit down and tell them, look there is going to be some problems in your treatment care and the reason is not because there is no insurance, the reason is because there is no production in this generic, of course there is panic, there is concern, there is questions, they ask what is going to happen with me, what is my life expectancy."

Doctors say patients suffer both emotionally and financially. Galindo says,  "When those medications come back to be available to us, the situation, that the pricing might be increased, and the re-imburssment may be decreased."

And that only heightens the burdens on those struggling with the disease.   However, for David Uvalle of Hidalgo,  he has cancer and visits a local cancer center on a weekly basis and although he doesn't face the prescription dilemna, he is grateful to receive his medications at no cost.   Uvalle says, "This help which I have been receiving, I wouldn't be telling you about it now, if i weren't receiving it"

Meanwhile, according to the study about 83% of cancer specialists reported a drug shortage in the past six months.

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