Chemotherapy shortage prevents patients from getting treatment

A nationwide shortage of chemotherapy drugs is delaying some patients’ therapy and forcing doctors to scramble for substitutes. An Oklahoma woman is one of those. One oncologist says the dearth will lead to an epidemic of avoidable deaths.

BY SONYA COLBERG Published: August 26, 2011
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Over the past 3½ years, Dorothy Schwaninger has been on chemotherapy to battle ovarian cancer.

Treatment went well until her oncologist’s office called with surprising news. She would need to postpone her appointment because the doctor couldn’t get the drug she needs.

“I’ve never heard of...

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