Dear CAMRT members,
This is a follow up to the January 19, 2018 message on the ANSTO reactor status, the NTP reactor status in South Africa and the current global supply situation.
The ANSTO Opal Reactor successfully resumed production yesterday. It is expected that shipments to the Australian market will begin at the end of this weekend or beginning of next week. There may be some shipments to the export market next week but the situation continues to be assessed. If the Opal reactor is not able to resume export shipments next week, then overall shortage for the week of January 29 will be similar to this week, 15 to 20% of world supply. As mentioned in earlier emails, a 2015 study completed as part of the MSWG Workplan found that our health system could absorb up to a 25% reduction in global supply without significant impact on patients. Fortunately, from what we have heard, the market seems to be handling this week’s shortage well with minimal impact on patient care.
As for the NTP reactor, it continues to be temporarily shutdown. Officials at NTP are in discussions with its regulator and a restart date has not yet been communicated.
Producers and suppliers are continuing to work collaboratively during this period to minimize the impact on patients. Given the circumstances, it is recommended that particular attention be made by clinicians to the efficient usage of medical isotopes. For your reference, a link to the Supply Management Application to Rank Uses of Technetium-99m (The “S.M.A.R.T.” Tool) is noted here https://www.cadth.ca/SMART-Tool.
The Government of Canada is monitoring the situation closely and is committed to keeping you informed as we receive updated information.
As we mentioned in the last update, we are interested to hear if you are experiencing any disruption to your own local supply of medical isotopes. Please send these updates, or any other feedback to Christopher Topham, Director of Advocacy and Communications at email@example.com.