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Gipgemabr shortage
Marj99
17 Posts

My husband has been told he has to switch his chemo protocol to Gipgemabr which is a combination of Gemciabine and Abraxane, but there is a shortage of this drug. He has a tentative treatment date of mid December if it becomes available by then. Our doctor says there are several patients in our town requiring this chemo and all need to receive treatment the same day - presumably the drug has a short shelf life. The protocol calls for a cycle of four weeks, three weeks with treatment and a week for recovery. Has anyone else ran into this problem with scarcity of drugs, and if so, what did you do about it?

We have requested a phone consult to deal with these questions and others, now that we have had time to read the hand-out regarding the drugs, but would appreciate learning what others have done in a similar situation. FYI We are located in northern BC but can easily travel to other locations for treatment if necessary.

1 Replies

Hello @Marj99

I am sorry to hear of this drug shortage - I did check and BC Cancer does list it as on their shortage list due to a global manufacturing issue. Back in Sept it said there was a 2-3 weeks supply.

This is what I found:

Drug Shortages The following are updates of drug supply shortages in BC. Full details about new, updated or resolved drug shortages, including recommended treatment alternatives, are found in the Briefing Notes and email communications previously circulated to BC Cancer and the Community Oncology Network (CON). New Paclitaxel NAB (ABRAXANE) (Adapted from BC Cancer Briefing Note 24 September 2021) The manufacturer of paclitaxel NAB (ABRAXANE) has advised that there is a possible shortage due to a global manufacturing issue. Based on typical usage, there is an estimated 2-3 week supply available at regional BC Cancer centre pharmacies. Paclitaxel NAB is used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and gynecologic cancers. As the recommended first-line treatment for pancreatic cancer, supply should be prioritized for these patients. Supply should also be prioritized for patients who have had a previous severe hypersensitivity reaction or anaphylaxis to paclitaxel that is not manageable despite premedications. Scheduling patients receiving paclitaxel NAB on the same day may minimize drug wastage. Where possible, new patients should be started on alternatives as outlined in the following table.

Check page 4 of this doc:

http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/systemic-therapy-site/Documents/2021%20ST%20Updates/ST%20Update_Oct%202021.pdf

This may give you some information to have that conversation when you consult about it.

Keeping you both in my thoughts. Update us as you are able and comfortable.

Take care

Lianne

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