Cancer Drug-Thyrogen in continued shortage

It’s been a while since I updated on the Thyrogen shortage happening in Canada. I am including all the letters so that new readers can see the situation from beginning to the current announcement.

I am now at a point that I will be making an appointment to speak to my Dr’s about allowing me to go “hypo” under close medical observation. Hypo is not a safe option for me because I have a heart condition, however sitting here with cancer still in my body for months and months of doing nothing is (in my opinion) also not a safe option. I stress constantly that the cancer is growing and that I’ll get terminal before Thyrogen is available. Now I know that seems dramatic, and scary, but it’s where my mind goes and I can’t help having these kinds of fears. I just want to move forward in my treatment and at least feel like we’re doing something, anything to keep moving in the right direction.

I am really disgusted that this shortage is continuing this long. Does anyone even care that people like me are sitting here with CANCER doing NOTHING to get better? They need to get their shit together and get this shortage solved. AS it sits now We could be waiting until spring of 2012. If my hunch is correct, we’ll get  ANOTHER shortage letter at that time.

Now for the letters the first is Dated Nov 2010 with the most recent being July 2011. For the current status please skip right to the last letter.

Thyrogen shortage

So after tonnes of digging, I knew I would find something in writing about this shortage. There is nothing to be found on either Genzymes website nor ton the Thyrogen website. I as a patient requiringthis drug find it somewhat shady that this info has to be a dirty little rumour floating around. So you don’t know anything for sure until you go to your pharmacy to fill your script only to be told some genaric info about it not being available. Then what? Treatment is rescheduled? Cancelled?

So I finally got my hands on the info, the letter is addressed to healthcare professionals and was dated in Nov 2010. Causually mentions a the delay will be for a “short period” and advises Dr’s to “consider this when scheduling patients”.

I spoke with a local Thyrogen rep, who told me I will not be able to fill my script until AFTER May when shipments resume. She could not tell me the reson for the shortage. Her carefully scripted answer let me with more questions than answers.

Here is the letter:

What’s your take on the issue?


Edited on Feb 15 2011 to add this recently found letter with a slight bit more info. Thanks to Thyroid Cancer Canada for posting it