Ohio lab connected to national drug shortage

Federal inspectors visited plant in May

CLEVELAND - An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation has found a northeast Ohio pharmaceutical laboratory that is contributing to a national drug shortage.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that Ben Venue Laboratories in Bedford is responsible for 20 drugs currently listed on its national drug shortage list.

The FDA said drug shortages have nearly tripled in recent years, jumping from 61 to 178 in the last six years.

Ben Venue Labs produces 800 products at its Northfield Road facility, including cancer drugs Leucovorin and Bleomycin -- both in short supply nationally.

Bleomycin has been discontinued by Ben Venue, but continues to be manufactured by three other companies.

Even so, a 13-year-old Florida boy died earlier this year while waiting for the life saving drug.

An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation found that FDA inspectors were inside Ben Venue Labs in Bedford last May and what they found helped contribute the drug shortages.

Richard Burnett is a northeast Ohio cancer patient who learned that another cancer drug that he relies on is also on the drug shortage list.

Fortunately, he has been able to use another drug, but that is not always possible for many cancer patients.

Tonight on NewsChannel5 at 11, we'll show you what FDA inspectors found inside the plant and what's being done to provide life-saving drugs for patients.

Join the conversation about this story on Twitter using the hashtag #WEWScancer . Follow Ron Regan on Twitter ( @InvestigatorRon ) and on Facebook ( facebook.com/RonReganWEWS ).

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