Drug Shortage

Shortage of aprepitant capsules

Ball-and-stick model of aprepitant contributed to Wikimedia by Jynto

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists reports a shortage of aprepitant capsules. Merck holds the patent for this drug and sells it under the brand name Emend. Increased demand for the drug and the fact that there is only one supplier has given rise to this shortage. The good news is that the injectable form remains available, although that is obviously less convenient because of the time and expense of an office visit for the injection.

Many cancer treatments cause nausea and vomiting. A combination of drugs, including aprepitant, is given to forestall this side effect. The example usually given is cancer treatment with high doses of cisplatin, also in short supply as of this date.

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