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Shortage of Child Leukemia Drug Could Be Avoided, FDA Says

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that a shortage on the life-saving drug used in childhood leukemia treatments could be averted.

Last week, doctors spoke out about the looming shortage of methotrexate -- a key drug known to help cure some young patients with pymphoblastic leukemia when combined with other drugs in high doses.  Some oncologists expressed worry the drug may run out in as little as two weeks, HealthDay reports.

But Tuesday, the FDA showed more optimism.  

"We are seeing the companies [that make methotrexate] respond to this shortage and they are planning on some very large releases, and we are planning on having the situation resolved," Valerie Jensen, associate director of the FDA's drug shortage program, said Tuesday, according to HealthDay.

Hospira, one of the three manufacturers of the drug based in Illinois, has said the company will boost production of the drug to "make up for the gap," HealthDay reported Tuesday.  The other two makers of the crucial drug -- Mylan Inc. in Pennsylvania and Sandoz US Inc. in New Jersey -- both say they also plan to increase methotrexate production.

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