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End To Children's Cancer Drug Shortage Is Unclear

Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2012 --- 7:45 a.m.

By LINDA A. JOHNSON
AP Business Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A top federal regulator says a severe shortage of a key childhood cancer drug should ease before hospitals run out of it in a couple weeks. But the companies that make the drug are giving few details about how they will finally end the shortage of preservative-free methotrexate.

It's used to treat the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL.

The drug has been in very short supply in recent weeks, after a leading maker of the drug shut down some of its factories late last year. Hospitals have warned the FDA that treatments for children with ALL could be stalled if new shipments of the drug aren't received within a couple weeks. That could lessen chances of a cure.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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