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Cancer Meds Could Be Ineffective

A shortage of cancer medicines may have increased relapse rates.Mechlorethamine had helped treat children with Hodgkin’s lymphoma for decades. In 2009, doctors were forced doctors to find a substitute. They thought they had settled on a drug that would work just as well for these young cancer patients, but a new study suggests it’s not nearly as effective. Researchers found two-year remission rates dropping from 88 percent to 75 percent after the switch was made. If people do relapse, additional treatment options are available, although patients likely will be exposed to more radiation and have additional side effects. The FDA has started to put some programs in place to help prevent shortages of vital generic medications. Manufacturers will have to let the agency know early if they’re planning on exiting the market, or if they’re anticipating any manufacturing problems.

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