A critical shortage of chemotherapy drugs is fueling calls to fortify the U.S. drug supply chain, which advocacy groups and lawmakers say too often relies on a handful of manufacturers to churn out products in highest demand.

Driving the news: Cancer drugs, including widely used cisplatin and carboplatin, are in such short supply that doctors are rationing care, asking patients to drive long distances for treatment, or turning to alternative treatments with riskier side effects.

The FDA this month temporarily allowed imports of a non-FDA-approved version of cisplatin from a China-based manufacturer, and that shortage is starting to ease in some areas.
But that hasn’t eased pressure on clinics that switched patients to other platinum-based treatments used to kill tumor cells that now are running short, creating a kind of pharmaceutical whack-a-mole.

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