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President Barack Obama recently signed an executive order that calls for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to address a shortage of prescription drugs that are designed to treat diseases and forms of cancer, The Washington Post reports.
The Mesothelioma Center believes that the executive order could benefit mesothelioma patients who may be struggling to get the medication they need to delay the effects of the cancer.
Mesothelioma lawyers certainly believe that there should be an abundance of medications and treatment options for those suffering from mesothelioma. As we have reported time and time again on our blog, there is no known cure, but those who are suffering from this form of cancer should have full and unfettered access to the treatment options and medications that are available.
Mesothelioma patients tend to find out about their cancer decades after they were first exposed to asbestos. The exposure can be over a period of months or years or a very short-term contact with the natural mineral.
When asbestos gets inside a person’s body, it can cause tumors, attaching to the lining of the heart, lungs and stomach, as well as other major organs. Tumors form and yet symptoms can be hidden for years. And even once they present themselves — chest pain, coughing, fluid build-up — they can be masked as symptoms of old age or years of smoking.
Obama’s executive order, The Post reports, forces the FDA to begin looking into why there is an unknown shortage of at least 232 drugs through October. This is a record number and includes drugs used to care for cancer patients, heart attack victims, accident survivors and scores of other ill people. The shortage has caused a spike in cost of medications.
The order, in part, calls on an end to price gouging and consumer protection. Experts believe the main cause for the shortage is that there are few manufacturers, so if there is a shortage of material to make the drugs, government crackdowns or a break down in machinery, a drug shortage is born.
The Mesothelioma Center believes that the order could help those seeking help for mesothelioma as well. Where intravenous chemotherapy is used, the order will help those patients get the care they need.
The drug Cisplatin is on the FDA’s drug shortage list and it is commonly used to treat mesothelioma patients. Alimta is not on the list, but is extremely expensive — $1,700 per vial in some cases — and the order may help lower the costs.
The shortage of Cisplatin comes because of an increased demand. With the order, the FDA will be able to more quickly review a drug application and streamline the process of providing information of price gouging to the Justice Department to ensure consumers are protected.
We certainly hope this order can not only provide the drugs and treatment that mesothelioma patients need and deserve, but ensure that they are more affordable. Mesothelioma patients who have been exposed to asbestos were usually impacted through no fault of their own and they deserve to have as peaceful a treatment period as possible.
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