Summary Box: Kid's Cancer Drug Shortage May Ease

Published February 15, 2012 1:00AM (EST)

GETTING BETTER: An FDA official says a severe shortage of key childhood cancer drug methotrexate should ease before hospitals' dwindling supplies run out in a couple weeks.

MAKERS' FORECASTS: Two drugmakers hope to ship more to hospitals by the end of February. Another company temporarily was making extra but now needs more of the active ingredient, while a fourth drugmaker, a key producer of methotrexate, has indefinitely suspended its production.

LIVES AT STAKE: The drug cures about 90 percent of cases of the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, known as ALL. Doctors and parents worry kids will suffer if they miss doses.

By Salon Staff

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