Delivery bottlenecks for cancer drugs: "That's the horror for us"
Created: 2023-01-09 16:42
By: Jan-Frederik Wendt
Tamoxifen is what is known as a selective estrogen receptor modulator.
These are medicines that mediate their effect through the receptors for the hormone estrogen.
The drug is designed to prevent a recurrence after breast cancer.
© Hannibal Hanschke/dpa
The lack of medicines worries experts.
Because the delivery bottlenecks also affect medicines for cancer therapy.
Berlin - The number of drug bottlenecks in cancer therapy has increased significantly in the past year.
This is announced by the German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO).
"The drug bottlenecks have existed for years, but are currently increasing significantly," said Hermann Einsele, Executive Chairman of the DGHO, reports fr.de.
The reasons for the development are manifold: there are difficulties in production and dependencies on supply chains abroad.
Increased demand also plays a role.
In addition, drugs would be withdrawn from the market in individual cases - for economic reasons.
Supportive medicines for cancer patients are also affected by supply bottlenecks
According to the DGHO, drugs that have been used in cancer therapy for years are particularly affected - for example the breast cancer drugs tamoxifen and nab-paclitaxel.
The latter is also used to fight pancreatic and lung cancer.
Supportive medicines for cancer patients such as antibiotics and uric acid reducers are also affected by the supply bottlenecks.
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Matthias Beckmann from the German Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics is concerned about the deficiencies.
Because there are bottlenecks, especially with “standard medicines”, according to the expert.
The problem with this is that the alternatives are not always of equal value.
For example, they could cause more severe side effects.
"The women simply stop the therapy if the side effects are too great," says Beckmann.
In addition, the situation also affects the relationship between doctors and patients.
"Our relationship of trust with the patients has been permanently disrupted by the supply bottlenecks."
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In 2022, out of around 200 cancer drugs approved in Germany, around ten would have been "critically missing," said Bernhard Wörmann, Medical Director of the DGHO.
The concern: A supply bottleneck that is not compensated for could become a supply bottleneck.
"And then, that's the horror for us that the prognosis actually gets worse."
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Because of the development, a register for delivery bottlenecks was set up last year.
In the long term, more production facilities should be built in Europe, Wörmann demands.
According to Thomas Seufferlein, member of the board of the German Cancer Society, the monitoring must be expanded.
"We really need a preventive early warning system and appropriate options to avert any supply deficit that may arise in good time." (Jan Wendt with
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