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Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation Message Board

  • isotopes_work isotopes_work Nov 24, 2009 7:18 PM Flag

    MDS Nordion provides Isotope Update.

    October 19, 2009 Opening Remarks

    To the Standing Committee on Natural Resources
    “Study of the Atomic Energy Canada Limited Facility at Chalk River and the
    Status of the Production of Medical Isotopes”

    Good afternoon, my name is Steve West, Chief Operating Officer of MDS Inc. and
    President of MDS Nordion. Accompanying me is Jill Chitra, Vice-President Strategic
    Technologies for MDS Nordion.

    Today I would like to focus my remarks on the following:

    􀂃 the current status of the medical isotope supply shortage

    􀂃 the future of long-term medical isotope availability

    􀂃 and Canada’s critical role in the nuclear industry

    In order to better appreciate the industry in which we are a global leader, MDS Nordion
    often works to understand the perspectives of the medical community. Recent market
    intelligence has led to a better comprehension regarding the impact of the medical isotope
    shortage on the North American and European Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) end user
    market. Although our work is qualitative and directional it does provide relevant
    observations of the impact. We believe further quantitative research would validate these

    From our market research, we learned the following:

    􀂃 Not surprisingly, the 2009 NRU shutdown has resulted in a significant decrease in
    Tc-99m supply to hospitals and clinics.

    􀂃 Hospitals have altered their behaviour to mitigate effects of the shortage but in
    ways not perceived as sustainable for the long term.
    Based on our review, we estimate there has been a15% decline in Tc-99m administered
    doses in North America and Europe due to the current supply shortage.
    The actual impact of the medical isotope shortage, however, is greater than this
    estimation, but due to changes in patient scheduling, work hours and greater overall
    efficiency of preparing and administering Tc-99m to patients, the medical community has
    reduced the impact.

    However, many end-users we have spoken with believe this is not sustainable for the

    In addition, and of critical importance, is that our discussions indicate Canada has been
    the hardest hit across North America and Europe, where we estimate a greater than 35%
    reduction in Tc-99m end use supply. This is significantly greater than the US impact we
    estimate of approximately 20% and of the impact in Europe, which we see as negligible.
    Based on expected supply scheduling in the global supply network, the outlook for 2010
    is not any better, and in fact, has the potential of being much worse.
    The HFR reactor in Petten will require an estimated shutdown of 26 weeks starting in

    Potentially, there will be a 6 week time period where both HFR and NRU are scheduled
    to be out of service, representing approximately 70% of the global medical isotope
    supply. This assumes that there are no issues with the NRU and HFR restarts. Any delays
    will only magnify the severity, increasing the periods of shortages.
    The impact becomes critical both here in Canada and globally. In addition, specifically
    in the April to September 2010 timeframe, there is the potential to have periods of time
    where only 1 or 2 reactors are operating due to regularly scheduled reactor maintenance
    shutdowns. As well, new supply entrants which expected to be on line earlier this year
    continue to be delayed.

    The completion of the NRU repairs are imperative. The CNSC has currently granted the
    NRU a license to operate until 2011, and the Government has asked AECL to apply for
    an extension of that license. This will assist in furthering the life of the NRU reactor. We
    strongly support these efforts.

    The remained of the article can be found here...

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