Cytarabine Crisis: Leukemia Drug Shortage Affecting Many Hospitals

Indiana University, Indianapolis, Ind.

"We have struggled with the shortage for a number of months. We have modified our approach to accommodate the shortage. It has been very distressing for all involved. On the other hand we have been able to prioritize to make sure the stronger the indication the more likely the patient receives the cytarabine."

Hospitals Where a Cytarabine Shortage Has Not Yet Affected Patients

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

"We are experiencing a shortage of this drug. Cancer pharmacists and physicians worked out a plan to address this a few weeks ago. We are not out of this drug; [there have been] no treatment delays or missed treatments. We have been using the 'low dose' regimen as opposed to 'high dose' in order to save."

City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, Calif.

The City of Hope National Medical Center reports that they have taken patient referrals from outside institutions that did not have the drug. They have had three referrals in the past two weeks. They report that it will be increasingly difficult to meet the present dosage guidelines if the shortage persists.

East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

"We do have a shortage of that drug here at East Carolina University."

Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, Ohio

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, N.C.

"There is a shortage locally. Some of our local physicians are running out of the drug, and we have actually offered to treat a couple of people. We are relatively short of the drug as well but have been able to get what we need thus far."

University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt.

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical, Chicago, Ill.

"We currently have a limited supply of the drug, reserved for acute leukemia patients."

Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, Calif.

"Yes, we have experienced shortages of cytarabine."

Hospitals Not Yet Reporting a Cytarabine Shortage

Jonsson Cancer Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

"[We have had] one patient referral from a local practice for cytarabine."

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, Wash.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center has not been experiencing a shortage, but the institution has received two patient referrals for cytarabine; one from Alaska and one from another center in Washington.

Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, Mich.

"We are managing our supply of the drug cytarabine -- and other critically necessary drugs -- with a very close collaboration between our pharmacy, physicians and medical teams. We have been aware of the limited availability of cytarabine for some time, so our team has worked proactively to plan, manage and prioritize the use of this treatment, as well as explore other possible treatment options for those patients."

Kimmel Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Mark Weiss, director of hematological malignancies at the Kimmel Cancer Center: "We had a temporary shortage, but it now appears to be resolved... Thankfully, it did not impact patient care, but if it continued it would have had severe consequences."

Detroit Medical, Detroit, Mich.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, N.J.

NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, N.Y.

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