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:3/30/2017)... ... 30, 2017 , ... AudioEducator, a leader in training conferences ... Through Discharge Planning ” with noted expert Sue Dill Calloway, RN, MSN, JD., ... to prevent readmissions in light of the most recent programs at the Centers ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... ARI Network Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIS) announced ... dealer websites for its network of more than 650 U.S.-based dealers. Rhino, a member ... including rotary and flail mowers and cutters, rear blades, post hole diggers, pasture renovators, ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... ... Full Contact K9, an Atlanta-based dog services provider, has recently teamed up ... owners in creating legally-enforceable pet trusts for their canine companions. , Therilus, a ... their new companion. Says Evan Dunbar, CEO of Full Contact K9, “When our clients ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... , ... Youth Futures International (YFI) premiered its Serve, Learn, & Empower program ... students who have participated in the program every summer. The 2017 Serve, Learn, ... for enrollment. Visit http://www.ghana.yfiexperience.org to learn more. , “I have sent ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... be hosting several educational opportunities for attending prescribers at the upcoming World Congress, ... Network said, “A4M has always been recognized as the visionary leader in the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... Calif. , Mar 29, 2017  Providence ... technology, announced the addition of two industry veterans ... has joined the company to lead Global ... International leadership.  Together, Mr. Lynch and Mr. Scott ... Mr. Lynch joins the company ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... N.J. , March 29, 2017  Glenmark ... results for GSP 301, an investigational fixed-dose combination ... (665 mcg) administered twice-daily as a nasal spray ... rhinitis. These results are from a recently completed ... of GSP 301 combination therapy versus mometasone, olopatadine ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  The Pharmaceutical Care Management ... new PhRMA report on patient out-of-pocket spending: ... and Medicaid Services (CMS), the average amount spent out-of-pocket ... of drug spending in 2016, down from 23% in ... pricing problem, not a coverage problem. Health plans don,t ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: