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CORAR Requests Expeditious Safe Return of Medical Isotope Production at NTP

The Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc. (CORAR), the voice of the radionuclide, radiopharmaceutical, and nuclear pharmacy industries in North America, announces today it has formally asked the National Nuclear Regulator South Africa (NNR) for the expeditious safe return of medical isotope production at NTP Radioisotopes (NTP) to support ongoing patient needs in the United States, and around the world. In a letter sent to the Hon. Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, Minister of Energy, Department of Energy, Republic of South Africa, CORAR urges that the NNR balances the critical nuclear safety requirements of the NTP facility with the needs of the medical community and expedite the remaining operational tests and regulatory reviews necessary to return NTP to full medical isotope production as quickly as safe production of those isotopes can occur.

NTP is one of four Mo-99 processing facilities worldwide that extract Mo-99 from uranium targets and purify it for shipment to Tc-99 generator manufacturers that support patients. NTP currently supplies about 20% of global demand for Mo-99 according to published data.1 While the remaining medical isotope production supply chain has worked to minimize the impact of the decreased NTP production of Mo-99 and I-131, without the significant production capacity provided by NTP, the risk of medical isotope shortages has increased. Because the potential for medical isotope shortages corresponds closely with the potential for an adverse impact on diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of patients in the United States (and elsewhere), CORAR supports and encourages efforts to enhance the production of medical isotopes.

CORAR’s letter can be found in the News & Resources section of its website at

About CORAR: The Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc. is a Washington, DC based trade association that is the voice of the radionuclide and radiopharmaceutical industry in North America. CORAR represents the developers, manufacturers, and nuclear pharmacies that distribute radiopharmaceuticals to healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the United States.

1 The National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine, Molybdenum-99 for Medical Imaging, 2016

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Last Updated: 01-Nov-2018