Story 10 Chemotherapy

A pharmacist who works in a cancer centre reports a shortage of the chemotherapy drug, Raltitrexed (tomudex), an antimetabolite used in the treatment of colon cancer since 1998.

It is back ordered until at least March 2012. It is a sole source product in Canada.

The pharmacist tells us that his clinic has “a patient with metastatic colon cancer who needs this drug but is not going to get it. The patient ended up in intensive care when he last got 5 FU and he had an anaphylactic reaction to Avastin [Both drugs could be suggested as alternatives, but he cannot have them now]. He had a great response to a raltitrexed – oxaliplatin combination previously, but now he has relapsed and he has no treatment options.”