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[IN] HEA MEQ MTC

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TO HEALTH, AND MEDICAL EDITORS:

Community Oncology Alliance Surveys Impact of IV Fluid Shortage on

Cancer Patients

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Community

Oncology Alliance (COA) has released the results of its IV Fluid

Shortage Survey. Sixty-six practices from across the country were

surveyed. The results revealed:

-- 85% of the practices surveyed have received warnings from multiple

manufacturers and/or have been impacted by the shortage of IV fluids

-- 44% of the practices surveyed have adjusted how and when fluids are

used, are pursuing additional distributors to meet their patients'

needs, and/or are attempting to create excess inventory against

further shortages

-- Less than 15% of the practices surveyed have made no changes in

light of the current or future shortages

IV fluids are regularly used before, during or after chemotherapy to

hydrate patients allowing them to better tolerate the powerful drugs

that might, in the absence of proper hydration, cause debilitating

side effects. In the absence of IV fluids, oncologists may be forced

to alter or delay treatment.

"The use of IV fluids during chemotherapy is standard practice," says

Dr. Mark Thompson, COA president and a practicing oncologist at the

Zangmeister Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio. "Such a basic commodity

in short supply, causing oncologists to modify treatment protocols,

could halt our progress in fighting cancer. Patients' lives would be

affected."

"We have seen previous shortages amongst many of the low cost generic

cancer drugs. In light of an IV fluid shortage, COA has increased its

efforts to resolve the growing threat of drug shortages. Because the

root causes of most drug shortages are often an economic not a

manufacturing issue, fundamental changes are necessary. COA will work

with legislators, manufacturers, and regulatory agencies to find a

solution. This cannot be allowed to continue," commented Ted Okon, COA

executive director.

For the complete survey results including comments from participants,

go to

http://www.communityoncology.org/pdfs/IV\_Fluid\_Shortage\_Survey\_-\_Feb\_\_2014.pdf

.

About Community Oncology Alliance (COA) The Community Oncology

Alliance (COA) is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to

community cancer care, where almost 65% Americans with cancer are

treated. Since its formation more than 10 years ago, COA has led

community cancer clinics in navigating the increasingly challenging

environment to provide efficiencies, patient advocacy and proactive

solutions to the Congress and policy makers. COA members have

testified before both chambers of Congress, authored cancer care

demonstration projects, and been instrumental in the passage of oral

cancer drug parity legislation, among many other initiatives. More

information can be found at www.CommunityOncology.org.

COA is leading a multi-stakeholder group that is developing and

implementing an Oncology Medical Home cancer care model and is

advancing payment reform for cancer care. More information can be

found at www.MedicalHomeOncology.org.

About COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) The COA Patient Advocacy

Network (CPAN) was created in 2010 to advocate for access to local

affordable care for all cancer patients. More information can be found

at www.COAadvocacy.org.

SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance

-0- 03/03/2014

/CONTACT: Julie Chase, (202) 997-8677, jchase@chasepr.com, Anita Weissman, (312) 850-0558, aweissman@chasepr.com, Chase Communications

/Web Site: http://www.communityoncology.org

CO: Community Oncology Alliance

ST: District of Columbia

IN: HEA MEQ MTC

SU: SVY NPT

PRN

-- SF75004 --

0000 03/03/2014 13:00:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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