Covidien’s partnership with the Polish Institute of Atomic Energy’s Maria Research Reactor has begun to bear fruit in the form of Technetium 99m (Tc 99m), and just in time.

According to Covidien’s estimates, April’s supply of Tc 99m should meet or exceed demand for most of the month. However, May is looking particularly bleak due to the scheduled shutdown of Belgium’s BR2 reactor for routine maintenance.

The summer should be brighter thanks to the Maria-derived Tc 99m and the return to service of the BR2 reactor.

A worldwide shortage of Tc 99m, the most commonly used radioisotope in the world, was caused when the major producers of the isotope—Canada’s National Research Universal reactor and the High Flux Reactor in the Netherlands—were shutdown. Both reactors are expected to return to service in the summer.

Covidien expects to be able to provide enough Tc 99m to meet the needs of one million patients worldwide through the first half of the year until the Canadian and Dutch reactors can be returned to service.


(Source: Company letter)