W. Rathmell
Last active: 8/8/2016

Ethical considerations for the clinical oncologist in an era of oncology drug shortages.

Jagsi R, Spence R, Rathmell WK, Bradbury A, Peppercorn J, Grubbs S, Moy B
Oncologist. 2014 19 (2): 186-92

PMID: 24449096 · PMCID: PMC3926786 · DOI:10.1634/theoncologist.2013-0301

Shortages of injectable drugs affect many cancer patients and providers in the U.S. today. Scholars and policymakers have recently begun to devote increased attention to these issues, but only a few tangible resources exist to guide clinical oncologists in developing strategies for dealing with drug shortages on a recurring basis. This article discusses existing information from the scholarly literature, policy analyses, and other relevant sources and seeks to provide practical ethical guidance to the broad audience of oncology professionals who are increasingly confronted with such cases in their practice. We begin by providing a brief overview of the history, causes, and regulatory context of oncology drug shortages in the U.S., followed by a discussion of ethical frameworks that have been proposed in this setting. We conclude with practical recommendations for ethical professional behavior in these increasingly common and challenging situations.

MeSH Terms (11)

Antineoplastic Agents Child Drug Costs Female Health Care Rationing Humans Medical Oncology Middle Aged Neoplasms Physicians United States

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