Background and importance For several years, healthcare facilities have noted an increase in out of supply medicines, including those in the oncology field.
Aim and objectives The aim of this study was to establish which chemotherapy injectable medicines were out of supply and determine the impact on patients.
Material and methods We took a census of chemotherapy injectable medicines out of supply between January and September 2019 from an Excel database indexing out of supply medicines, updated with information from laboratories or the national agency for medicines and healthcare product safety. Then, using patient files from Chimio and Easily software, we determined the patients affected by these out of supply medicines.
Results Three chemotherapeutic pharmaceutical specialities were identified as being out of supply in 2019: bleomycin, mitomycin (Ametycine) and docetaxel (Taxotere). Of the 285 patients treated by injectable chemotherapy in our healthcare facility, 7 were affected by these out of supply medicines and 1 patient was affected by 2 out of supply medicines.
For bleomycin, two patients with ovarian cancer did not have an alternative. For mitomycin, the treatment of two patients with bladder cancer had been delayed for 7 days and one patient with anorectal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) had to change his protocol. For docetaxel, two patients (one with prostate cancer and one with anorectal SCC) did not have an alternative and one patient with prostate cancer had to change his protocol.
Conclusion and relevance The out of supply of chemotherapy injectable medicines requires patients to adapt to the treatment when the treatment should adapt to the patient. The out of supply medicines lead to loss of hope for patients, even if it is hard to quantify. One of the consequences is that we have to explain to patients why the treatment is different from the one initially planned and sometimes it can be difficult to reassure them. We can ask the question if there will be a decline in the quality of care of certain cancers in the coming years facing more and more regular out of supply medicines, sometimes with no alternative for the patient.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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