In Survivors

Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance Advocating for Patients During Chemo Drug Shortage

An ongoing shortage of chemotherapy drugs commonly used to treat ovarian cancer and other solid tumors including breast, bladder and lung cancers has reached a critical level in Minnesota and across the U.S. Carboplatin and cisplatin are among those chemotherapy drugs in the shortest supply.

The shortage of drugs used to treat ovarian cancer is a matter of critical importance for women and families the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) serves throughout the Upper Midwest. The lack of carboplatin and cisplatin available is impacting the standard of care for women being treated for ovarian cancer and recurrent disease, and in some cases, alternative therapies are being offered.

MOCA is advocating for our ovarian cancer survivors and families by asking state and federal lawmakers to assist. We are also collaborating with other local and national advocacy organizations to find possible solutions to ensure patients receive access to necessary medications. MOCA will work to keep our community of survivors, loved ones and caregivers updated on what they can do to receive the best care and treatments available to them. The cancer drug shortages are being attributed to expanded demand, supply shortages, limited manufacturing capacity, and low profit margins for generic therapies, according to the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, it’s not known when these drugs may become more readily available.

If you or a family member are currently being treated for ovarian cancer and care is being affected, ask about acceptable alternative drug therapies. We also recommend you view information and resources compiled by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), including acceptable treatment alternatives recommended by SGO. For a link to the SGO site, please click here.

MOCA will provide updates about the cancer drug shortages to our community as they become available. If you are already being impacted by the shortage of carboplatin and cisplatin and would like to share your story with MOCA, please contact MOCA Executive Director Kathleen Gavin at

We encourage you to contact your state and federal elected officials to share your experiences and request action to mitigate the nationwide drug shortages. OCRA has published an online form, available here.

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