Vincristine: Controlled Distribution

Oct 25, 2019 | Advocacy, Childhood Cancer, Rally Blog | 0 comments

First, thank you to all the families who reached out and shared your children’s stories with us. Thank you, 11 Alive and reporter Kaitlyn Ross in Atlanta and NBC Nightly News, for reporting on the shortage. These news stories along with others are key to raising awareness.

Below is a link to the webinar that the Alliance for Childhood Cancer, of which Rally belongs to, and CAC2 with Dr. Peter Adamson, Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group.

Here are a few of the key points from the webinar:

  • Pfizer has received vincristine and has made shipments to hospitals.
  • “Controlled Distribution” of vincristine is currently how Pfizer is distributing the drug which means they will hold a buffer so that no hospital runs out of vincristine and no child should miss a necessary treatment.
  • “Recovery” which means Pfizer should have more than enough vincristine to meet market demand are anticipated as follows: 2 mg dose – December 2019, 1 mg dose – January 2020
  • There is a short Q & A at the end of the webinar that begins at minute 50

It’s imperative to let FDA know.
It is critical that if your child will not receive a full dose of vincristine, that you contact the FDA immediately at [email protected]. This is how the FDA will know. You can also let us know at [email protected] as we will advocate on your behalf, too.

How did the vincristine shortage happen?
Many of you, along with us, wanted to know how the vincristine shortage happened. Dr. Adamson shared that he was told by Pfizer that they had a spike in demand in August. A cousin chemotherapy drug was in short supply, and it appears that doctors prescribed vincristine as a substitute drug which may have caused the shortage. (Dr. Adamson talks about this around minute 23 in the webinar.)

What is the call to action?
Even prior to the vincristine shortage, the Alliance has been working with Congress to address the drug shortage. In the next few weeks, there will be an Action Alert released and also a Day of Action on the Hill is being planned. Rally will keep you up to date as we learn more.

Now What?
We will continue to monitor the situation and update you as soon as we learn new information.
Your voices were heard, and it is important that we continue to be heard. If you want, take a minute to thank @Pfizer and @FDA via your social media channels.


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