Advocacy e-Bulletin to Strengthen our Community

American Childhood Cancer Organization 

February 2012


Fighting the U.S. Drug Shortage


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As parents of children who have been treated for cancer, we are acutely aware of how critical it is for our children to have access to life-saving drugs. Since December, there has been a significant decline in the U.S. production of preservative-free Methotrexate (MTX). Children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in particular, are dependent upon availability of this drug for effective treatment of their cancer. Currently, the cure rate for ALL is approaching 90%. Having access to preservative-free Methotrexate is essential to saving these children's lives.


As a result of the reduction in the availability of this drug, hospitals treating children with cancer are already beginning to ration it. They anticipate that it will be a matter of days to weeks when there will no longer be any available supply. 
ACCO is asking each of you to contact your Members of Congress (MOC). We're especially asking for a heroic number of calls from those who live in the states where the four manufacturing companies are located - i.e. Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Please impress upon your MOC's the urgency that they immediately contact the four companies currently manufacturing MTX in the U.S. and demand that they:  


1) prioritize production of the preservative-free form of the drug and 

2) work with the FDA to import preservative-free Methotrexate if sources are available.

Our children's lives depend upon us. 
Because kids can't fight cancer alone!


Ruth I Hoffman MPH, Executive Director


America's Drug Shortage 


The American Childhood Cancer Organization is a member organization of the National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR), and the Alliance for Childhood Cancer. We also work alongside the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The following letters were sent to the four companies that manufacture preservative-free Methotrexate in the U.S. The four letters provide company contact information as well as content that can be used as a template letter for your Members of Congress.  


Letters sent to the 4 Manufacturers of preservative-free MTX

Contact information for the 4 companies manufacturing drug.


More information on this issue can also be found at the following ACCO links:


Summary of America's Drug Shortage and A Crisis in Care by Dr. Michael Link


The term "grassroots" refers to a group of people who have been impacted by a cause and who stand united behind a movement to make a difference in that cause.  As families of children with cancer we are the grassroots voice of our nations' children with cancer. In order to strengthen our grassroots community we need to be informed about policies, legislation, decisions, and opportunities that impact our children's treatment and quality of life, and advocate for better treatments for those children who have yet to be diagnosed.