Medical products manufacturer Covidien, Mansfield, Mass., and the Institute of Atomic Energy in Poland have reached an agreement for the institute to provide Covidien with molybdenum-99, the nuclear waste byproduct used to produce the medical isotope technetium-99m, which is used in many imaging studies.
Covidien, Polish agency reach isotope deal
Announcement of the deal comes two days before a nuclear reactor in Petten, the Netherlands, is scheduled to be taken offline for repairs over six months.
The shutdown is expected to add to the current medical isotope shortage, which began in May 2009 when Canada’s Chalk River reactor was shut down indefinitely for repairs. “It is the first time in decades that a new reactor has been brought into the global supply chain for medical isotopes,” said Covidien Pharmaceuticals President Timothy Wright in a news release.
The Poland atomic energy institute, known as IAE Polatom, is expected to supply isotopes for use in imaging studies for more than a million patients globally during the length of the agreement, according to Covidien officials. The isotopes are expected to be commercially available in Europe within the next 30 days. Approval from the Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada are pending for use of the isotopes in the U.S. and Canada.
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your comments to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.