The Dublin, Ireland-based company blamed its decision on the continued closure of the Chalk River, Ontario, nuclear reactor by Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) and the planned six-month shutdown of the High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands, by the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group next month.
In its update to customers, Covidien noted that its Mo-99 supply from the remaining three online reactors is still being finalized, and the majority of the company's standing orders for generators are expected to be met between March 1 and March 20 with no extra supply of Mo-99 required.
However, there will be no Covidien generator production from March 21 to March 25, due to the expected shortfall in Mo-99 supply.
"This lack of Mo-99 will be marketwide globally, not just for Covidien. All five major medical isotope reactors in Europe, Canada, and South Africa will be offline during this period," the company wrote.
Generator production for the Americas should resume on March 26, but on a marginal basis, with no more than 20% of its Mo-99 supply expected.
Covidien added that the outlook for April is "moderately improved over March," and the company said it will keep its customers updated.
Covidien pharmaceutical sales dip in fiscal Q1, January 20, 2010
Covidien to sell radiopharmacy business, December 17, 2009
Covidien shows mixed results in Q4, fiscal 2009, November 20, 2009
Covidien to modify Optimark labeling, November 9, 2009
Covidien retools, sells sleep unit, September 4, 2009
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