United Pharmacy Partners LLC

April 05, 2017 06:00 ET

UPPI LEU Walk Advances The Medical Isotope Transition Update

SUWANEE, GA--(Marketwired - April 05, 2017) - UPPI LLC (United Pharmacy Partners) is proud to announce that seven (7) nuclear pharmacy members and affiliates have received a Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA).

The award, bestowed by NNSA's Office of Material Management and Minimization and endorsed by Assistant Deputy Administrator Peter H. Hanlon, is in recognition of the ongoing effort by UPPI LLC to provide radiopharmaceuticals of molybdenum-99/technetium-99m [99Mo/99mTc] derived from sources with low enriched uranium (LEU)

The "UPPI LEU Walk" effort, in its third year, makes available to the nuclear imaging community technetium-99m labelled radiopharmaceuticals produced without highly enriched uranium (HEU). Technetium-99m is the daughter radioisotope of molybdenum-99 and is the "workhorse" radioisotope used in nearly 80% of diagnostic nuclear imaging procedures. The UPPI LEU Walk complements DOE/NNSA efforts to minimize the use of HEU in civilian applications while ensuring a reliable supply of this critical medical isotope by supporting the establishment of domestic production of non-HEU-based molybdenum-99. UPPI radiopharmacies are working with hospitals and imaging centers to embrace the transition to reliable, non-HEU-based sources of medical isotopes.

The members receiving the award certificate:
CentraMed Radiopharmacy Monroe, LA.
Foti Nuclear Pharmacy Services of Alexandria Alexandria, LA.
Nagem Medical Specialties LLC. Lake Charles, LA.
Nagem Medical Specialties-Lafayette Lafayette, LA.
Red River Pharmacy Services Texarkana, TX.
Red River Pharmacy of Jonesboro Jonesboro, AR.
Red River Pharmacy of Little Rock Little Rock, AR.

"UPPI has taken the actionable role to deliver non-HEU technetium-99m radioisotopes over the past three years," said John Witkowski President UPPI, LLC. "This year the molybdenum-99 stakeholders also took action with the Department of Veterans Affairs announcing a second preferential procurement memorandum for non-HEU medical isotopes, and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services continuation of the full cost recovery add-on reimbursement for >95% non-HEU technetium-99m study doses which has a direct impact to the transition away from HEU."

"In the latter part of 2016, a considerable amount of discussion pertaining to The National Academies of Sciences report on the supply of molybdenum 99 for medical imaging after the Canadian NRU reactor ended routine production molybdenum 99 at the end of October 2016. So to ensure a ready supply to its clients, UPPI signed a multi-year agreement with Lantheus Medical Imaging which includes their LEU Technelite® Generator. The Lantheus contract is very important to UPPI to ensure a continued transition through the rest of this decade.

"Concurrently, UPPI works closely with Vizient Inc., the nation's largest member-driven healthcare company, to transition non-HEU technetium 99m into the product portfolio for its imaging facilities. Vizient represents the early majority effort to embrace the movement away from HEU produced medical isotopes."

"In 2017, UPPI will launch a C-suite campaign at commercial payers to have the insurers play an active role in the non-proliferation of HEU in medical isotopes by asking the provider to support the full cost recovery add-on reimbursement for all covered lives that would receive a >95% non-HEU technetium 99m study dose. The reimbursement should be expanded beyond the Medicare HOPPS setting to facilitate the conversion away from HEU, a terrorist target for a nuclear device. UPPI feels it can have a leadership role in this endeavor based on its multi-year investment and experience to make the transition happen."

Established in 1998, UPPI is an alliance of independent commercial radiopharmacies and leading non-profit academic medical center radiopharmacies, which are focused on delivering prepared radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic molecular imaging and therapeutic patient care needs. UPPI national reach provides daily and on-call radiopharmaceuticals in metropolitan, secondary, tertiary, and rural market places. Every day UPPI member and affiliate pharmacies provide over 8,000 unit dose prescriptions for diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy to nuclear medicine physicians, radiologists, nuclear cardiologists and oncologists. The UPPI network includes 77 radiopharmacies and academic radiopharmacies and 10 cyclotrons for the production of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiopharmaceuticals.

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Contact Information

  • For more detailed information please contact:
    John Witkowski
    President UPPI, LLC