The reliable supply of molybdenum-99 (99Mo) and its decay product, technetium-99m (99mTc), is a vital component of modern medical diagnostic practices. Disruptions in the supply chain of these radioisotopes can delay or prevent important medical testing services. Unfortunately, supply reliability has declined over the past decade, due to unexpected or extended shutdowns at the few ageing, 99Mo-producing, research reactors and processing facilities. These shutdowns have recently created global supply shortages.
This report provides the findings and analysis of two years of extensive examination of the 99Mo/99mTc supply chain by the OECD/NEA High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR). It puts forth a comprehensive policy approach that would help ensure long-term supply security of 99Mo/99mTc, detailing the essential steps to be taken by governments, industry and the health community to address the vulnerabilities of the supply chain, including its economic structure.