Reactor shutdowns force Covidien to cut generator production in March
There will be no Covidien generator production from March 21-25 in the Americas and from March 20-23 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa due to lack of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) supply, as all five major medical isotope reactors in Europe, Canada and South Africa will be off-line during this period.

“This lack of Mo-99 will be market wide globally, not just for Covidien”, said Covidien in its Mo-99 supply update.

Covidien generator production for the Americas should resume March 26 and for Europe, the Middle East and Africa on March 24, according to the Dublin-based company.

“However, the remainder of March will be only marginally better, with no more than 20 percent of needed Mo-99 supply expected. Covidien will distribute the available generators as fairly as possible to maximize patient access globally during this period of extreme shortage,” Covidien stated.

The company encouraged clinicians to adopt the Tc-99m conservation program with unit dose Tc-99m ordering, to use thallous chloride Tl 201 for procedures where it can be a clinically appropriate substitute and applauded clinicians for careful scheduling of patients.