It is estimated that Tc-99m diagnostic procedures are expected to increase by more than 15% in mature markets of North America, Europe, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Oceania between 2010 and 2030, however shortage of Mo-99/Tc-99m has been a threat to this industry. The scheduled shutdown of the NRU reactor in 2016 and OSIRIS in France in 2018 is a major risk for manufacturers in the near future. Companies have increased the production of thallium to meet the shortage, as it is the most commonly used substitute for technetium-99 in cardiac-stress tests, conducted to evaluate the functioning of coronary arteries. Radiopharmaceuticals in neurological applications such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsons disease, and dementia are also being preferred by practitioners besides conventional treatment. Further, upcoming radioisotopes such as Ra-223 (Alpharadin) and Ga-68 possess huge potential for clinical applications.
Increasing use of SPECT and PET scans, technical advancements in equipment and other factors such as rising awareness of radiopharmaceuticals among physicians, alpha radioimmunotherapy based targeted cancer treatment, and ready availability of nuclear medicine market from cyclotrons have driven the market. High cost of devices using radioisotopes, short half-life, lack of good manufacturing practices, and stringent regulatory approvals are major hurdles to growth of the market.
North America is the dominant market for diagnostic radioisotopes with close to half of the market share. The U.S. is the largest consumer market for radiopharmaceuticals, while Canada is one of the largest producers of Tc-99m.
Processors such as Nordion, Inc., Covidien Plc., and NTP Rad
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