An ethical framework for responding to drug shortages in pediatric oncology

Jill C. Beck, Laurie D. Smith, Bruce G. Gordon, Jeremy R. Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The frequency of drug shortages has increased considerably over the last decade. Important ethical issues arise whenever the supply of an effective drug is insufficient to meet demand. Using the ethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice, institutions can guide prioritization of drug distribution before a shortage occurs to avoid unfair and unethical distribution of resources. This analysis will give a historical context for drug shortages, identify, and explore the central ethical concerns raised by drug shortages, and propose an ethical framework for addressing them in the context of pediatric oncology. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:931-934.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-934
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Chemotherapy
  • Ethics
  • Pediatric hematology/oncology
  • Psychosocial
  • Support care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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