FDA Approves New Suppliers for Cancer Drugs

February 22, 2012 Updated: February 22, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration said on Feb. 21 it had approved two new suppliers of cancer drugs to ameliorate a critical shortage of suppliers.

“Through the collaborative work of FDA, industry, and other stakeholders, patients and families waiting for these products or anxious about their availability should now be able to get the medication they need,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said in a statement.

The agency said companies can temporarily import a replacement drug for Doxil, which is used for ovarian and other cancers. The FDA said it will establish another supplier of methotrexate, a drug used to treat a type of leukemia and some adult cancers.

Citing critically short supplies of these drugs, the FDA said it is taking necessary steps to increase the supplies for patients in the United States.

The FDA said it prevented 195 separate drug shortages in 2011 and has prevented 114 shortages since late October, when President Barack Obama signed an executive order to end prescription drug shortages.