Navigation Links
Worldwide isotope shortage continues to pose significant challenges
Date:9/8/2009

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
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... McLaughlin & Smoak Benefits as the latest addition to its family of Partner ... dedicated team of compliance, wellness, human resources, and health care consumerism specialists. , ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... and Make-A-Wish grants the most heartfelt wishes of these children. The wishes ... medical treatment. President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Mississippi, Brent Wilson said, “In ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Michael Lanteri Agency in Fort ... assist the people of their local community. The agency pledges to select a ... Their hope is to bring awareness to important local causes with fundraising and ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... A recent survey by the Midwest Business ... employees to understand and use the free preventive care benefits available to them as ... groups of large, self-insured public and private employers, MBGH found that only 10% of ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... ongoing community enrichment program serving families of greater Dubuque, IA. The current campaign ... reserve and honorably discharged veterans. Donations to Veteran’s Freedom Center may now be ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... TUCSON, Ariz. , May 3, 2016  As ... twice contracted rheumatic fever, which damaged his heart. ... But by June 2013, Shepherd,s heart was ... days from death. On June 20, 2013, the ... temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t). Like a heart transplant, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016  While you may be familiar with watching a film or TV show in ... ultra-high-definition or 8MP in the Medical Industry.  Ampronix  is a renowned authorized reseller of the ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160502/362730 ... ... ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016 ... pay $55 million to a woman who says its ... court awarded Gloria Ristesund $5 million in ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ... accusations against the company. In February, the same court ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: