Owen McMasters

The Make-A-Wish-Foundation recently reached out to Owen McMasters, 12, to see what wish they could make come true for him.

His wish?

Solve the problem of a generic chemotherapy drug shortage so that kids like him with acute lymphoblastic leukemia can receive the treatment they need.

Owen McMaster’s father, Dr. Kelly McMaster, has been waging a campaign since last October to get the drug companies to let go of crucial cancer drugs.

McMasters, a cancer surgeon with the University of Louisville Physicians, and Owen were on national television in late February, working to focus the public’s attention on this nationwide shortage.

Now, the McMasters are using www.change.org to created a petition in an effort to convince the major players – the president, the U.S. Congress, the FDA and pharmaceutical companies – to permanently eliminate the shortage of generic drugs.

There are more than 250 drugs in shortage in the United States right now, and the list is growing.

But methotrexate is the most crucial.

From the petition:

With proper treatment, methotrexate, over 80 percent of children can be cured of ALL. However, methotrexate is absolutely essential. There is no substitute for this drug. A delay in receiving methotrexate can mean the difference between cure and fatal relapse. Almost all of these are generic drugs, which are very inexpensive. Pharmaceutical companies make very little profit producing these drugs, leading to chronic shortages.

The drug petition is close to garnering the 1,500 signatures sought.

If you’re moved by the magnitude of this story, please go to the petition here and give Owen a vote of support.