DES MOINES, Iowa — A nationwide shortage of a cancer drug is adding stress to families who need it, including Iowa families like the Delzells.
Three-year-old Kinsley is fighting a type of leukemia. She had a checkup at Blank Children’s Hospital Tuesday. Her chemotherapy treatments involve the drug methotrexate, a medication that is in short supply nationwide.
Blank may only have enough for Kinsley’s next treatment.
“On the inside, I want to scream. I want to break things. I want to react how typically people would. I think both of us would,” said Kevin Delzell, Kinsley’s father.
Kinsley’s mother, Michelle Delzell said “It’s a little scary. It’s been kind of frustrating hearing about it.”
The lack of supply is just as frustrating for medical staff. Drug companies blame manufacturing delays and say the shortage started last summer.
Doctors are looking for other options.
Dr. Wendy Woods-Swafford at Blank Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center said, “We substitute drugs that we do have available. But I could never look them in the eye and tell them, I do know this is safe and effective because we don’t have that data.”
The Delzells hope Iowans will pressure Congress to get involved to figure out a way to quickly increase the supply.