Sunday, February 12, 2012

Missing methotrexate

1 comment:

Kathy Capehart, Austin, TX said...

My 2-year-old great niece has ALL and needs methotrexate. We felt so lucky to have good insurance and doctors when she was diagnosed. Now her parents have been warned that her doctor, in Dallas, Texas, has only 2 weeks supply of the drug. She will need treatment for at least 20 more weeks. We are of course writing and calling anyone who can help. We are hopeful that the immediate shortage is being solved and puzzled why it happened.

I have heard only one explanation. A manufacturer did not maintain their plant with updated technology and ran into quality problems, so they closed in November. A doctor speculated that this happened because older generic drugs, like methotrexate, do not provide enough profit for the manufacturer to keep producing it. Really? A drug that literally saves children's lives? Why haven't they raised the price to a reasonable amount? We would pay a significant copay to save our child. What do the pharmaceutical companies consider a sufficient profit? Is this honestly what is causing so many drug shortages? What role do the insurance companies play in setting the prices?

After this crisis passes we will still worrry that a future medical issue will leave us feeling so very helpless again.