Covidien projects severe technetium shortage in May

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As the molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) shortage continues, Covidien has updated its Mo-99 supply calendar and said that May remains challenging while the outlook is significantly improved in June.

The High Flux Reactor (HFR) in the Netherlands remains down as scheduled through mid August, and the National Research Universal reactor in Canada is not expected to return until late July while the BR2 reactor in Belgium is also offline during May for routine maintenance causing the severe shortage this month.

Based on updated supply estimates from the Maria, BR2, OSIRIS (France) and Safari (South Africa) reactors, Covidien has published daily projection calendars for Tc-99m generators in the United States, Canada and Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) through June.

Significant shortage to generator standing orders and a severe Tc-99m shortage is expected during most days in May and the beginning of June while the addition of the Maria reactor will make the month of July more manageable, according to Covidien.

Covidien is also continuing to increase the production of thallium-201 (Tl-201) for those procedures where it can be a clinically appropriate substitute. The company has encouraged physicians to have a frequent interaction with their local pharmacy and Covidien representative to ensure that thallium needs are known.