Navigation Links
Worldwide isotope shortage continues to pose significant challenges

RESTON, Va.SNM recently conducted a survey of nuclear pharmaciespharmacies that supply the critical radioisotope Technetium-99m, which is used in more than 16 million nuclear medicine tests each year in the United Statesto assess, anecdotally, the impact of the worldwide medical isotope shortage. According to the survey, 60 percent of radiopharmacies have been impacted by the most recent shortage. Technetium-99m is a product of Molybdenum-99, which has been in short supply recently.

Nuclear physicians and pharmacists are making changes to cope with the shortage, while striving to provide patients with the highest levels of care possible. For example, 75 percent of physicians are rescheduling patient tests by at least one day. In more than one out of three of these cases, tests have been delayed for longer than one month.

"This situation is untenable," said Robert W. Atcher, Ph.D., M.B.A, chair of SNM's Domestic Isotope Availability Task Force. "Nuclear scans and procedures that use Tc-99m are used to detect and diagnose many common cancers and cardiac conditions."

"In some cases, waiting even a day can severely impact care, especially if the condition is progressing rapidly," said Michael M. Graham, M.D., Ph.D., president of SNM. "Getting information early on in the disease progression is critical, and is one of the real benefits of molecular imaging."

In addition to delays, more than 80 percent of nuclear physicians and specialists are decreasing the dosage, which can lead to "longer exposure and less effective imaging scans," added Atcher.

Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is a medical isotope derived from Mo-99 which is produced in reactors. Only six reactors in the world produce Mo-99 that is approved for use in the US. These reactors undergo routine maintenance. Recently, however, they have been experiencing chronic mechanical issues due to the age of the reactors and extended operation beyond their expected lifetime. When one reactor goes unexpectedly offline, this creates a limited supply of Mo-99, which is critically needed for nuclear medicine procedures. The most recent extended shortage began in May 2009, when the NRU reactor in Chalk River, Canadathe world's largest reactor that produces Mo-99went off-line. The situation has been exacerbated by the recent announcement that the NRU reactor will remain off-line at least through 2010.

While the shortage began three months ago, radiopharmacists are increasingly feeling pressure to find alternative agents to offset the Mo-99 shortage. A recent outage of a second reactor for planned maintenance made the shortage worse.

"Radiopharmacists are doing the best they can with the limited resources at their disposal," said Jeffrey P. Norenberg, Pharm.D., Executive Director of the National Association of Nuclear Pharmacies and a member of SNM's Domestic Isotope Availability Task Force. "But clearly, patients deserve better because better agents like Tc-99m exist. Governments should work together to prevent such shortages from ever happening again."

There are no reactors in the United States that produce Mo-99, making the isotope shortage especially acute. Nuclear medicine experts are trying to keep up with demand, while using less effective products. "It's a juggling act," Atcher said.


Contact: Amy Shaw
Society of Nuclear Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Data from Patient Subsets of e-HEALING, a Worldwide Registry, Support Use of OrbusNeichs Genous(TM) Bio-Engineered R Stent(TM) as Alternative to Drug- Eluting Stents
2. National Association for Sport and Physical Education Partners with S&S Worldwide to Help Improve Childrens Fitness
3. Global Med Technologies(R) Extends Its Worldwide Outreach
4. Worldwide Probiotic Drink, Yakult(R), Launches in Its First Major U.S. Market
5. In Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and Spanish Speakers Worldwide International Hyperhidrosis Society Publishes Important New Patient Booklet in Spanish
6. New USAID grant helps Georgetown meet unmet family planning needs worldwide
7. The Cardiovascular Multimedia Network (CVMD) and the International Society of Endovascular Specialists (ISES) Join Forces to Educate Practitioners Worldwide Through Electronic Media
8. Unilens Names Eschenbach Optik Exclusive Worldwide Distributor of the UniVision(R) Low Vision Lens
9. Video: Beyond the Red Door: Gildas Club Worldwide and DKNY Host Successful Benefit Event
10. Allscripts Featured in Microsoft HealthVault Worldwide Launch
11. Abortion Numbers Fall Worldwide
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Battle Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... abuse, joined as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table ... held in honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes ... Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , ... advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex ... as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and ... a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, ... ... at CitiDent, is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has ... , self-ligating Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 , , ... July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , ... , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & ... Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast ... an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times ... hours per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and ... patient, but especially grueling for patients who are elderly ... a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: