Cancer Advocates Call on Congressional Leadership to Advance Swift, Comprehensive Solution for Continued Drug Shortages

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Issues Letter Detailing Short- and Long-Term Solutions Necessary to Effectively Address Current Shortage and Prevent Future Crises

December 4, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C.— December 4, 2023 — Today, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) sent a letter to key Congressional leaders urging them to advance legislation that comprehensively addresses the nation’s ongoing drug shortage crisis ahead of a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday. 

The letter comes as the drug shortage crisis continues to have a significant impact on cancer patients. One in every 10 cancer patients and survivors report impacts to care, a majority of whom have had difficulties finding substitute medications (68%) and cited treatment delays (59%), according to a recent survey by ACS CAN. 

A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows: 

“The continued shortage of cancer drugs has become a serious and life-threatening issue for patients across the country. Congress must enact a comprehensive solution to address the issue and reverse the growing threat these shortages pose to the individuals we serve.  

“We remain encouraged by the multiple proposals and commitment to action by Congress. But, many proposals address only a single aspect of the shortages, rather than taking a wholistic approach. Today’s crisis is a multi-faceted problem that requires a comprehensive solution.  

“We urge Congress to swiftly advance an all-inclusive resolution that includes short-term solutions to mitigate ongoing shortages as well as longer-term solutions that change the system in a way that truly prevents future crises and addresses the core issues that obstruct a patient’s access to drugs.” 

Currently, according to the Food and Drug Administration, there are 16 oncology drugs listed in the shortage, a number of which don’t have an effective alternative and have led to worse health outcomes for cancer patients.  

The full text of the letter can be read here.  

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