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Cancer-drug shortages

As a lymphoma survivor, I was relived to read of the recent Food and Drug Administration action to alleviate two specific drug shortages [“FDA: New suppliers to ease shortages of 2 cancer drugs,” News, Feb. 22].

While this is good news for the patients who rely on these specific medications, we must remember that last year alone there were more than 250 reported prescription-drug shortages.

Many of the drugs in short supply are used in the treatment of many types of cancer, threatening the health and survival of the more than 35,000 Washington residents who will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. These shortages do not just affect patients currently in treatment, but also have a significant negative impact on research into new cancer therapies.

While there is no single cause for this problem, there is a solution we can all support, by urging our lawmakers in Congress to support the Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act. This bipartisan legislation is an important first step to solving this crisis