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Tallahassee cancer patients struggle to find chemo treatment amid nationwide drug shortages

 Tallahassee Memorial Hospital sign at the corner of Centerville Rd.
Patrick Sternad
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital sign at the corner of Centerville Rd.

A Tallahassee hospital says they are going through emergency supplies to make ends meet.

Thousands of cancer patients across the country are being forced to wait weeks for proper treatment due to a nationwide drug shortage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broke the news back in February.

Chemotherapeutic drugs like Carboplatin and Cisplatin are commonly used by medical professionals to treat anywhere from ovarian, bladder, head, and neck tumors.

Dr. Tod Morris oversees the treatment of roughly 80 patients at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Cancer Center.

He says the shortage could continue for several months but will do whatever he can to help.

“We have developed a number of mitigations strategies to minimize that impact and risk to each of these very vulnerable patients," said Morris. "We’re going to do everything we can to provide the highest quality outcomes in this difficult situation.”

Morris and his team requested 800 milligrams of cisplatin last week from regional drug vendors. However, that will only be enough for a week’s time because of high demand.

Currently, there are 136 drugs in short supply according to The Food and Drug Administration.

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Adrian Andrews