Fort Myers, Florida – Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC (FCS) is demanding reform in the pricing regulation of generic drugs, an issue that has deeply affected the oncology community for years but has worsened in recent months. Inadequacies in regulating average selling prices (ASP) for regimens crucial to patient care are directly affecting manufacturers’ ability to maintain operations and productivity for critical generic drugs.
The statewide practice is asking for a public response to these drug shortages. The ask is for all involved or concerned to bring this issue to light with their state legislators and demand pricing regulation that will ensure ample supplies.
Most recently, national supplies of cisplatin and carboplatin, vital in the treatment of lung, breast, ovarian, testicular, bladder, and head-neck cancers, have been depleted, leaving oncologists with few alternative treatment options and threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients.
“Our patients are on the receiving end of these unfortunate circumstances, already amid treatment or waiting to initiate life-saving therapies,” says FCS President & Managing Physician Lucio N. Gordan, MD. “Time is of the essence. We must take action now to instill regulatory pricing that will enable consistent and reliable production of these critical drugs.”
Currently, there are no regulatory policies in place intended to sustain and subsidize pricing for generic regimens, with gaining evidence in the diminishing generic supply that continues to strike the oncology community.
“Pricing for generic drugs must be regulated at a higher rate to support the necessary costs of production and to sustain necessary supply levels that would no longer jeopardize the lives of those dependent on these drugs,” says FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan H. Walcker.
A dedicated team of pharmacists, procurement specialists, and physicians at FCS have been working directly with drug manufacturers to manage diminishing oncology drug supplies and provide reasonable, alternate options for patients.
“There are multiple manufacturers involved in the creation of many generic drugs. When a few manufacturers stop making a drug, the supply becomes very limited, and we simply cannot maintain quantity requirements for patient needs. What makes the current shortage especially critical is that we are experiencing the same issue for two drugs in the same treatment space at the same time,” notes FCS Chief Procurement Officer Paul Chadwick. “We struggle to treat patients with the best therapy available, and the next best therapies for their cancer treatment. Ultimately patients are paying the true price in this scenario.”
“Five minutes is all it takes,” adds Gordan, “our government representatives need to be informed of this issue. Action must happen now.”
National state and local representatives can be found here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Those in Florida can find their local legislator here: https://www.stateofflorida.com/state-legislators/