Keeping Patients Informed: Chemotherapeutic Medication Shortages

June 7, 2023

The information below is intended to inform our patients about shortages with certain chemotherapy agents and other oncology-related medications.

Why are we raising this concern?

  • There is a critical shortage of about 300 drugs affecting hospitals and care facilities across the U.S. right now, including Providence Swedish Hospitals across the Puget Sound.
  • Chemotherapy and oncology-related medications are especially impacted by these shortages.
  • Medications such as Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Fluorouracil, Capecitabine, Abiraterone, Docetaxel, Doxorubicin, Fludarabine, Methotrexate, Vincristine, and many others have been or may become affected.

How is Providence Swedish responding to these medication shortages?

  • Providing patients with safe, high-quality care is our top priority. Making patients and providers aware of this issue is important as we work through the possible alternatives.
  • Providence Swedish and our partners are exploring strategies to secure additional supply of these medications. We are also engaged in advocacy efforts to find long-term solutions and prevent recurrences in the future.
  • Treatment plans may be modified after careful review by the care team and discussion with the patient. These modifications will be individualized to the patient and will only be made if it is clinically appropriate and safe to do so.
  • We are committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all our patients. Only medical factors such as disease type, stage, and prior treatment are being considered in the selection of which patient’s regimen may be impacted.
  • Options for modifications in the treatment plan may include a decrease from the usual dosage or substitution of an alternative agent, when possible.

What can patients do?

  • Remain in communication with their care teams.
  • If needed, patients may be asked to contact their insurance plan to ensure coverage if alternative medications or treatments are prescribed.

For more information on what drugs are in short supply, visit

Previous Article
New members of the South Puget Sound Community Mission Board

Next Article
CMO Message: June 2023