Learn more about the kids in this week’s 60-minute story about essential drug shortages.


This Sunday, 60 Minutes reports on a shortage of essential medicines that affect doctors, hospitals and patients on a daily basis. Two such patients are 8-year-old Mikah Carney and 18-year-old John Valenta, who were diagnosed with aggressive leukemia several years ago. Their mothers Sarah Carney and Cyndi Valenta sat down with 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker and doctors and nurses ran out of Vincristine, a life-saving cancer drug their children were taking.

“It was confusing above all else…in our country, in the United States, it’s hard to understand how this could even happen to children. There were no essential drugs to prevent leukemia. And there were no alternatives. Drugs,” said Valenta. says

After a week of back and forth between drug maker Pfizer, the hospital, and mothers with cancer, Sarah and Cyndi ended up taking the insufficient dose of vincristine for their son.

After a four-year battle with leukemia, Mikah is expected to finish treatment in November 2021 and be considered cancer-free in 2026. John finished treatment in August 2020 and is currently in remission and is considered cancer-free by 2025. The boys still have regular schedules. Appointments for checkups and blood tests.

Pfizer said in an interview with 60 Minutes, “We have prioritized production of vincristine since 2019 to ensure an adequate supply to our patients, and continue to supply approximately 98% of the market.”

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