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Multiple hospitals and cancer specialists contacted by The Associated Press say they still have just enough methotrexate to treat current patients. But a January survey of 204 oncologists around the country found at least 40 percent believed that one or more patients in the past year had either died prematurely or suffered a tumor recurrence because of the cancer drug shortages.

But the methotrexate shortage has gotten particular attention because it’s frightening parents. The drug has been a mainstay of childhood cancer treatment for 40 years and it’s highly effective.

In addition, for ALL, there is no good alternative treatment for spinal fluid injections. For the other cancers, the fallback drugs will not work as well, but it’s unclear how much worse children getting that second-best option will fare.

Meanwhile, several members of Congress have been introducing bills aimed at addressing various causes for the shortage and price gouging that’s been reported by marketers outside hospitals’ normal distribution channel.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., for a year has been trying to win passage for her bill requiring all drug manufacturers to notify the FDA in advance when they anticipate shortages. Currently, that’s only required if there is only one manufacturer of a particular drug, and there are no penalties for not doing so.

On Tuesday, she proposed adding her bill as an amendment to a pending transportation funding bill.

“In the Senate, it’s so hard to get an individual bill to pass,” Klobuchar said, adding that she’ll keep trying this strategy until it works.