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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Breast cancer drug bottleneck eased

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Jena (dpa/th) – Due to bottlenecks in the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, women who depend on it have been uneasy for weeks, according to observations by the Thuringian Cancer Society.

“We have already received many inquiries from patients who fear having to stop their therapy due to lack of medication,” managing director Astrid Hessmer said on request. “This is incredibly stressful for those affected.” In the meantime, however, there are signs of relaxation. However, according to the Thuringian Pharmacists’ Association, the supply of tablets to pharmaceutical wholesalers is still rationed.

Most breast cancer patients must take the drug for 10 years after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. It is said to block the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen, which promotes the growth of tumor cells in many women. So-called antihormonal therapy is an important part of breast cancer treatment.

According to the Thuringian Pharmacists’ Association, pharmacies are not yet allowed to restock the drug. Wholesale trade is only available for individual recipes, said the association’s president, Stefan Fink.

According to the Cancer Society, there were several reasons for the supply bottleneck. In the last coronavirus lockdown, many women would have stocked up on packs of “tamoxifen” for three months as a precaution, Hessmer said. There were also production problems and subsequent delivery problems. In Thuringia, around 1,600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

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