(MSNBC) — An Ohio drugmaker began releasing limited supplies of a crucial medication to treat childhood leukemia Thursday, sending hospital pharmacists facing life-threatening shortages scrambling for their share.

Jerrod Milton, chief of pharmacy at Children’s Hospital of Colorado, was among those first in line as Ben Venue Laboratories began accepting new orders for the drug methotrexate, three weeks before the hospital would have run out completely.

“I had a tip that it was going to be available,” he said. “I put my pharmacy team on notice.”

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