Medical Radioisotopes
Medical professional interacting with an atomic symbol

NEA support for global efforts to ensure a reliable supply of medical radioisotopes, specifically 99Mo dates back to 2009 during a period of substantial shortages for 99Mo and its decay product, technetium-99m (99mTc). This led to the establishment of the High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR) comprised of experts representing 18 countries (including some non-NEA member countries), the Euratom Supply Agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Work by the High-Level Group helped inform policy decisions to stabilise supplies, although shortages of 99Mo have reappeared at times. The HLG-MR ran for four consecutive mandates and formally concluded its activities at the end of 2018.

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To honour the NEA’s commitment made at the conclusion of the HLG-MR to continue monitoring the supply situation, the NEA published the report entitled The Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes: Demand and Capacity Projections for 99Mo/99mTc for the 2023-2027 Period.

Comparing NEA demand estimates with projections of production capacity and facility utilisation for molybdenum-99 (99Mo)/technetium-99m (99mTc), this report proves scenarios for the security of supply up to 2027, for the first time since 2019. These projections are intended to help policymakers, producers of medical isotopes and other stakeholders make the appropriate decisions to ensure an economically sustainable, long-term and secure supply of the key medical isotope 99Mo and its decay product, 99mTc until 2027 and beyond.

The NEA will host an International Workshop on Medical Radioisotopes Supply on the current status and future action to ensure the reliable supply for molybdenum-99 (99Mo), as well as a discussion of a new generation of innovative radioisotopes for diagnostics and therapy. The workshop will take place at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France on 30-31 October 2023.