How the Shortage of a $15 Cancer Drug is Upending Treatment

New York Times

June 27, 2023 3:20 pm

Tony Shepard learned he had vocal cord cancer this spring, but he was encouraged when his doctor said he had an 88 percent chance at a cure with chemotherapy and radiation.


That outlook began to dim in recent weeks, though, after the oncology practice he goes to in Central California began to sporadically run out of the critical medication he needs.


Since Mr. Shepard’s doctor informed him of the shortage, each treatment session has felt like a game of “Russian roulette,” he said, knowing that failure would mean the removal of his vocal cords and the disappearing of his voice.