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SNM warns patients about imaging test delays due to worldwide Mo-99 shortage

WHO: Leaders of SNM

  • Michael M. Graham, Ph.D., M.D., president, SNM
  • Robert W. Atcher, Ph.D., M.B.A., past president, SNM; chair, SNM Medical Isotope Task Force
  • Jeffrey P. Norenberg, Pharm.D., M.S., SNM director-at-large; chair, SNM Commission on Radiopharmaceuticals; member, SNM Medical Isotope Task Force

WHEN: Immediately

WHAT: Discuss the severe Tc-99m shortage that will occur over a two-week period when cancer, heart and brain disease patients will experience delayed imaging tests because of a worldwide halt on Molybdenum-99 production

BACKGROUND: Molybdenum-99, or Mo-99, is a radioactive substance produced in only five nuclear reactors in the worldtwo of which are out of service due to extended repairs. From March 21 until April 11, the medical community will experience one of the most significant disruptions ever in the supply of Mo-99. The remaining three reactors will not be able to produce enough Mo-99 to justify production of radioisotope generators during this period. This is disturbing news for patients requiring critical nuclear medicine or molecular imaging tests to diagnose, stage, monitor or treat their cancer, heart or brain disease, as 80 percent of these tests use a medical isotope derived from Mo-99 called Technetium-99m (Tc-99m). As a result, tens of thousands of patients per day in the U.S. will not receive the standard of care they deserve because of this Mo-99 shortfall.

The media is invited to interview Dr. Michael M. Graham, a nuclear medicine physician; Dr. Robert W. Atcher, a nuclear medicine researcher; and/or Dr. Jeffrey P. Norenberg, a nuclear pharmacist, to understand the full scope of this significant medical development and its impact on the patient community.


Contact: Amy Shaw
Society of Nuclear Medicine

Page: 1

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