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Report: J&J's Doxil shortage could continue

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[November 21, 2011]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Cancer patients relying on Johnson & Johnson's drug Doxil could continue facing shortages after a contract manufacturer suspended operations at its Ohio plant, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ben Venue Laboratories Inc., which is a unit of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, shut down manufacturing and distribution operations at its Bedford, Ohio, plant after a review showed that preventative maintenance and requalification of some manufacturing equipment is overdue, the newspaper said in a report published Saturday on its website. Ben Venue said it hopes to restore manufacturing at the site as soon as possible, the paper reported.

Equipment failures at the same site led to a Doxil shortage earlier in the year and about 2,700 people are on a waiting list for the drug, which treats a wide range of cancers including ovarian cancer, the paper said. U.S. sales of the drug fell 87 percent during the third quarter, according to the paper.

J&J previously identified a potential alternative supplier for the drug, according to the paper, but that transition would take an extended period of time. J&J representatives could not be immediately reached for comment Sunday.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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