Chemotherapy drug shortages put young patients at risk; restrictions and challenges cause concerns of a rise in teen births; at least 28 companies failed to prove sufficient product testing for cough syrups.
A shortage of chemotherapy drugs used to treat pediatric cancers, including vinblastine, dacarbazine, and methotrexate, has created a crisis for children with cancer in the United States, according to NBC News. While some improvements have been seen in shortages of cancer drugs for adults, the situation for pediatric cancer patients remains dire. This shortage forces doctors to use less effective alternatives or delay treatment, putting young lives at risk and causing added distress for families. Efforts are needed to address the systemic issues causing these shortages and prioritize the well-being of pediatric cancer patients, clinicians and advocates say.
After decades of decline, the rate of teen births in the United States appears to be leveling off, and advocates are concerned that it may soon increase, according to KFF Health News. Factors including the Supreme Court's decision to strike down federal protections for abortion rights, opposition to sex education, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth mental health could contribute to this trend. Limited access to abortion and contraception, along with the challenges of teenage pregnancy and motherhood, further compound the issue.
The FDA has increased scrutiny of ingredient testing in health care products following hundreds of deaths overseas related to contaminated cough syrups, according to Reuters. At least 28 companies have received reprimands from the FDA this year for insufficient testing of ingredients used in OTC drugs and consumer products, particularly for toxins like ethylene glycol and diethylene glycol. This crackdown, including more stringent testing requirements for individual ingredient containers, aims to prevent contaminated products from entering the US market.