Drug shortages delay cancer treatment

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NEOSHO, Mo. — Major drug shortages are delaying treatment for patients with bladder cancer across the country.

Karla Boatright said, “Anytime you get the word you have cancer, it’s a scary feeling.”

It never occurred to Karla Boatwirght, she might have cancer.

“I was a very healthy, agile person. I was definitely not the look of cancer.”

But Karla was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January of 2013.

“Oh-one twenty four, January 24th”

Later confirmed as advanced bladder cancer.

“You lose all your strength, all your stamina, and you really don’t care to get off the couch.

Bacillus Calmette Guerin, or B-G-C, is a drug used against bladder cancers for patients like Karla. right now, the FDA says there is a shortage.

Jeff Thompson, Vice President Of Pharmacy Services, said, “When we have shortages of drugs, patients can have delays in their therapy.”

That’s something Karla couldn’t imagine.

“I was fortunate they had all the medicine. I cannot even imagine for somebody to tell me you have a life threatening disease and we can’t get the medicine to help you,” said Boatright.

And pharmacists say this is not a new problem.

“We’ve been dealing with drug shortages ongoing for over five years and honestly really don’t see that becoming better in the coming future, in fact it might get worse,” said Thompson.

“My goal in life was I’m going to beat this because I want grand-babies,” said Boatright.

And beat it, she did.

“The grass on the other side is awesome and when you get to that point, you look back and it’s in your rear-view mirror and you think did I really go through all of that? Did I really? But the but the blessings while you’re in the journey, far outweigh the journey.”

Karla’s cancer journey prompted her and her daughter to open One24 Boutique.

A portion of all sales are donated back to the University of Kansas Medical Center cancer research program, where Karla has received, and continues to receive all of her life-changing treatment and care.

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