Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Doxil for next treatment

Mom received disappointing news today - the Trinity Cancer Center Nurse called and said that they did not get any Doxil for mom's treatment next week, and there is none available any where else.

Dr. Porubcin still wants to see mom next week for her appointment on Monday. At that time he will suggest another possible course of action or treatment.

It's unfortunate because the Doxil was working and mom was on a good pace with the drug - finally - and having another treatment ON SCHEDULE would have been a good thing. Hopefully this won't be too large of a hiccup in her process, however I can't help but feel unnerved as this sounds like the shortage is due to some SNAFU of a third-party manufacturer. I've heard it described as "production delays" but that still doesn't answer the question. Why?

In a Chicago Tribune article, they noted that Johnson & Johnson's  "specialty manufacturer" of the drug was moving out of the contract manufacturing business, which could cause shortages of the drug. This was reported in July. But the fact remains that if they saw a shortage coming down the road, then they should have found another "specialty manufacturer" to take care of this so the transition would be smooth. Not too much to ask. Of course I am not experienced at running a billion dollar company but one would think that there should be some processes in place if they are relying on other manufacturers.

So is Johnson and Johnson going to get in any trouble for this - for inconveniencing thousands of cancer patients? Depends on how bad some situations are I guess.

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