Community Oncology Alliance Surveys Impact of IV Fluid Shortage on Cancer Patients

March 3, 2014

Shortage Could Impact Treatment of Most Chemotherapy Patients

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has released the results of its IV Fluid Shortage Survey. Sixty-six practices from across the country were surveyed. The results revealed:

    --  85% of the practices surveyed have received warnings from multiple
        manufacturers and/or have been impacted by the shortage of IV fluids
    --  44% of the practices surveyed have adjusted how and when fluids are
        used, are pursuing additional distributors to meet their patients'
        needs, and/or are attempting to create excess inventory against further
    --  Less than 15% of the practices surveyed have made no changes in light of
        the current or future shortages

IV fluids are regularly used before, during or after chemotherapy to hydrate patients allowing them to better tolerate the powerful drugs that might, in the absence of proper hydration, cause debilitating side effects. In the absence of IV fluids, oncologists may be forced to alter or delay treatment.

“The use of IV fluids during chemotherapy is standard practice,” says Dr. Mark Thompson, COA president and a practicing oncologist at the Zangmeister Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio. “Such a basic commodity in short supply, causing oncologists to modify treatment protocols, could halt our progress in fighting cancer. Patients’ lives would be affected.”

“We have seen previous shortages amongst many of the low cost generic cancer drugs. In light of an IV fluid shortage, COA has increased its efforts to resolve the growing threat of drug shortages. Because the root causes of most drug shortages are often an economic not a manufacturing issue, fundamental changes are necessary. COA will work with legislators, manufacturers, and regulatory agencies to find a solution. This cannot be allowed to continue,” commented Ted Okon, COA executive director.

For the complete survey results including comments from participants, go to http://www.communityoncology.org/pdfs/IV_Fluid_Shortage_Survey_-_Feb__2014.pdf .

About Community Oncology Alliance (COA)

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to community cancer care, where almost 65% Americans with cancer are treated. Since its formation more than 10 years ago, COA has led community cancer clinics in navigating the increasingly challenging environment to provide efficiencies, patient advocacy and proactive solutions to the Congress and policy makers. COA members have testified before both chambers of Congress, authored cancer care demonstration projects, and been instrumental in the passage of oral cancer drug parity legislation, among many other initiatives. More information can be found at www.CommunityOncology.org.

COA is leading a multi-stakeholder group that is developing and implementing an Oncology Medical Home cancer care model and is advancing payment reform for cancer care. More information can be found at www.MedicalHomeOncology.org.

About COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN)

The COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) was created in 2010 to advocate for access to local affordable care for all cancer patients. More information can be found at www.COAadvocacy.org.

SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance

Source: PR Newswire

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