The global shortage of medical isotopes has prompted GE Healthcare of Chalfont St. Giles, U.K., to become the second company in less than three weeks to increase the price of its technetium-99m (Tc-99m) generators.
The Canadian Press reports that GE notified its customers on June 2 that a 32¢-per-mCi surcharge will be added to deliveries, beginning June 3.
GE's increase follows May's price hike by Lantheus Medical Imaging for its TechneLite technetium-99m generators. The North Billerica, MA-based company told customers that it was forced to raise prices significantly in response to a price hike from its major molybdenum-99 supplier.
The Canadian Press cites a letter from GE to its customers, in which GE noted its North American supply agreement with Lantheus for the supply of technetium generators.
According to the report, the letter states: "If Lantheus Medical Imaging can meet 100% of our needs, a per (millicurie) surcharge for technetium will not apply. On the other hand, if Lantheus Medical Imaging cannot supply in the usual way and technetium generators must be supplied from another third party, GE Healthcare must apply a surcharge based on the additional incremental costs quoted to GE Healthcare for the technetium generators."
The Canadian Press added that the letter did not name GE Healthcare's third-party supplier, but the report noted that Lantheus and Dublin-based healthcare firm Covidien are the only two companies that sell generators and technetium to Canadian nuclear medicine clinics.
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