New Results From National Comprehensive Cancer Network Survey Show Drug Shortages are Impacting Clinical Trials


Almost 90% of centers reported shortages for at least one type of systemic therapy.

© Andrii Yalanskyi - © Andrii Yalanskyi -

Image Credit: © Andrii Yalanskyi -

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has published new results for its latest survey on cancer drug shortages in the United States. This follows data published one year ago, and six months ago, illustrating how up to 93% of centers surveyed were experiencing shortages of the crucial chemotherapy carboplatin at its peak.1

According to the survey,2 43% of centers that responded in this most recent June 2024 edition reported that drug shortages are impacting their clinical trials. Over 80% of the centers cited greater administrative burden as a cause, with 58% citing reduction in enrollment and 17% citing a reduction in open trials; 25% responded with other:

  • Budget changes as the study teams attempt to order/secure product to reserve for trial enrollment.
  • Hesitate to open trials with drugs that have shortages.
  • Had to delay opening some trials due to availability of standard of care drugs. Most resolved at this point.

“Critical drug shortages were not a new problem last year and they continue to be a problem now,” Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, chief executive officer, NCCN said in a press release. “The dual carboplatin and cisplatin shortage was particularly severe, and we were able to help sound the alarm during its peak. Despite a renewed attention to drug shortages over the past year, 89% of the responding centers in the latest survey are still reporting shortages of various important anti-cancer agents and supportive care medications. Most of them are still managing shortages for more than one type of medication right now. These shortages not only put a burden on patients, caregivers, and providers, but they could also delay vital clinical trials and slow the pace of progress for new cancer therapies.”

Looking back to the June 2023 edition of this survey, 70% of centers surveyed were lacking adequate supply for cisplatin. In the latest survey, only 11% of surveyed centers reported a shortage of carboplatin and 7% for cisplatin, but new concerns have emerged.

“The current situation underscores the need for sustainable, long-term solutions that ensure a stable supply of high-quality cancer medications,” said Alyssa Schatz, MSW, senior director of policy & advocacy, NCCN said in the press release. “The federal government has a key role to play in addressing this issue. Establishing economic incentives, such as tax breaks or manufacturing grants for generic drugmakers, will help support a robust and resilient supply chain—ultimately safeguarding care for people with cancer across the country.”

Among other notable insights from the June 2024 edition, 75% of respondents stated they would like to see economic incentives put in place to encourage the high-quality manufacturing of medications, especially generic versions that are often in short supply. This is in response to concerns about how the current marketplace incentivizes unsustainable practices.


1. New survey from NCCN finds cancer drug shortage management remains a moving target, impacting clinical trials. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. News release. June 26, 2024. Accessed June 27, 2024.

2. NCCN Best Practices Committee: New Information and Survey Results from June 2024. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. June 26, 2024. Accessed June 27, 2024.

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