Cancer Drug's Short Supply Moves to Critical Stage

After it failed an inspection in November by the FDA, Ben Venue Laboratories in Ohio was shut down. No one in his or her right mind would want to take drugs manufactured in a place where mold was growing on the walls and machinery rust was falling into vials.

Now, the toll of the lab’s decrepit state might have to be paid by children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and a type of bone cancer, osteogenic sarcoma. They rely on a longtime cancer drug, methotrexate, that, as NPR reported, can mean the difference between death and cure.

Ben Venue was a principal supplier of injectable methotrexate. Now, its shortage is acute, the latest in long line of critical drug shortages. We’ve written often on the topic, and what is being done to address it.

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