PET Isotopes

PET Isotopes

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | June 17, 2014
ABT’s Biomarker Generator
From the June 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The decision about how to procure radiopharmaceuticals is a personal decision for each facility and it’s based on their location, capital, space, resources and demand. Here’s DOTmed Health- Care Business News’ guide to the options available today as well as some new developments that are making their way into the space.

Option one — nuclear pharmacies
Nuclear pharmacies such as PETNET Solutions Inc., Cardinal Health and IBA Molecular are one of the ways to get PET radiopharmaceuticals in the U.S.

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PETNET was formed by CTI Molecular Imaging 1996 around the same time that PET/CT was introduced to the general marketplace. “The mission of PETNET Solutions at that time was to help grow PET/ CT as a modality,” says Edgar Alvarez, senior marketing manager for PETNET.

At the start, the company’s main customers were non-academic centers, free standing imaging centers and community hospitals.

In 2005, Siemens Healthcare acquired CTI which became Siemens Molecular Imaging. That branch of the company now has 50 sites in the U.S. as well as sites in Europe and Asia.

“The large academic centers had their cyclotrons, but the non-academic hospitals really didn’t have access to any PET radiopharmaceuticals until the commercial supply was made available,” says Alvarez.

The main reason why ordering from nuclear pharmacies is so popular is because the facilities get the right amount of dose they need at the right time—in other words, it’s efficient and cost-effective.

They can place the order online with PETNET Direct or they can fax it. They enter the patient- specific information, the referring physician information, what tracer they need, the amount they need, the time the patient will be there and the type of procedure that will be done.

“If you look at the business model for it, if you buy from the nuclear pharmacy, you have no inventory, you have no special building or room, you have no special, highly trained people and you only buy what you need and you get reimbursed for it,” says Wayne Webster, owner of ProActics Consulting (Webster also sits on the editorial advisory board of HCBN).

Cardinal Health operates roughly 160 sites that compound and dispense radiopharmaceuticals. The company says that it reaches more than 85 percent of all U.S. hospitals within three hours.

IBA Molecular, which runs a manufacturing facility in France, has a total of 57 nuclear medicine sites in Europe, the United States and Asia. Two other players in the U.S., Triad and UPPI, have four and twelve cyclotrons respectively.

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