Today: 15.Nov.2018

Van Zyl de Villiers, Past-President World Council on Isotopes, April 2018: The production and supply of key medical radioisotopes, especially molybdenum-99, but also iodine-131 and xenon-133, continue to be of major interest to the isotope industry, the healthcare community and policy makers. The main players have been very successful in improving security of supply after the shortages experienced during 2009-2010, but also underline that the present form of the 99Mo/99mTc market remains economically unsustainable. See www.wci-ici.org for all newsletter issues.

M. Alex Brown, Ph.D. radiochemistry: Medical isotopes are a class of radioactive isotopes used by hospitals to monitor the body’s functions and destroy cancerous tissues. They’re different from x-rays and CT scans that use accelerators to generate radiation. As of 2012 nearly 40 million people every year receive a diagnostic procedure with a medical isotope in what’s estimated to be a $5 billion/year industry, according to world-nuclear.org. Radiation therapy extends to the treatment of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, HIV, liver cancer, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, and more.

International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA: This is the May, 2010 review of worldwide production and supply of molybdenum 99, which is extremely important in diagnostic nuclear medicine. In February, 2010 a letter was sent to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House recommending that the United States focus on domestic production of molybdenum 99. The reply was that they were working on it. One member of the team working on it was positive and thought the problem would be solved with the renewed efforts. Scientists who worked on production of radioisotopes in American reactors were not optimistic about the renewed efforts. In 2016, an American medical professional said that he didn't think he would see satisfactory domestic production of this very important isotope in his life time. Thus is the government progress in the USA.

Don Robertson is the retired Managing Director of NTP Radioisotopes SOC Ltd of South Africa. This article is very important because it gives a summary of the worldwide problems facing the production of the the radioisotope, Mo-99. This isotope is the workhorse of diagnostic nuclear medicine, used in approximately 80,000 Tc-99m scans per day. A variety of policies and regulations result in restricting full cost recovery for producers of this vital radioisotope. For all newsletters, see website: http://wci-ici.org/

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