Call 11 for Action: Drug shortages affect patients - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Call 11 for Action: Drug shortages affect patients

(WTOL) - Patients around the country are having problems receiving their medicines.

In 2010 there was a record number of drug shortages, and this year numbers are even higher. 

These drug shortages took a toll on Marisa Borjon, 22, in her chemotherapy treatments. 

When Borjon was three months pregnant with her daughter, she found out she had leukemia and started chemotherapy with two different drugs immediately.  Though her daughter was born three months premature, she was an otherwise healthy baby, despite her exposure to chemotherapy. 

Even with two bone marrow transplants, Borjon's leukemia relapsed, and she is in need of chemotherapy drugs that are in short supply. 

"[It's] scary when you have a patient with a lethal condition that depends on the drug, and you may not get it there in time.  There is a certain window," says concerned Pediatric Oncologist Emmanuel Katanis.

Nearly 200 drugs are now on the shortage list.  "We've seen sporadic shortages in the past but nothing of this scope and magnitude," says a representative of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. 

Pharmacists try to anticipate their patients' therapies, so they are not interrupted, but they still worry about not providing the drugs on time. 

Patients like Borjon need their medications especially fast because she is a relapse patient. 

"Within five days I was back in the hospital. It's really fast.  The faster we get the drug the better it is," says Borjon. 

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