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Department of Health: Temporary substitute nuclear medicine items

Thursday 04, Feb 2021

Update 2 February 2021

 
The temporary items will remain in place until 28 February 2021 and not be suspended on 5 February 2021 as earlier advised.
 
Whilst we understand that supply issues have stabilised, we have decided to maintain a watching brief.
 
We would also like to reassure you that we have mechanisms to reactivate these temporary items quickly should there be a future shortage of supplies.
 

Update 29 January 2021

 
At this stage we still intend for the temporary items to be suspended from 5 February 2021.
 

We understand that there were some supply issues over the last week which are now resolved. The team are monitoring the supply situation. We would also like to reassure you that we have mechanisms to reactivate these temporary items quickly should there be a future shortage of supplies.
 

We will keep informing of developments as this progresses.

19 January 2021

In response to the recent technetium supply disruption, the substitute nuclear medicine imaging items were reinstated to be used when a requested nuclear medicine imaging service ordinarily performed using technetium could not be provided. This was to support patients to have continued access to necessary nuclear medicine imaging scans while supplies of technetium were limited.

These items were established on an interim basis for three months from 1 December 2020 until 28 February 2021. We foreshadowed that if technetium supplies returned to normal levels and stabilised before 28 February 2021, then the end date could be brought forward.

The Department has been recently been advised that full production of technetium has resumed and stabilised, and we intend to withdraw the substitute items.

While we understand that providers would prefer a long lead time before the items are removed, our view is that the items are no longer required. Providers should already be performing services using the parent nuclear medicine imaging items on which the temporary items are based. Advance patient bookings should be for technetium based services.

Australian Government Department of Health