is expressed in terms of activity, usually in units of millicuries (mCi). Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate is sold as individual doses for single diagnostic imaging procedures, typically ranging from about 20 mCi to 35 mCi. It is also sold in bulk quantities up to several hundred millicuries, which would be used for multiple procedures.15

The committee obtained information on Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate prices from several sources. The Bio-Tech Systems (2006) report provides average prices per dose of Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate from hospital and radiopharmacy sales in 2005. It reports that average prices range from $8.20 for hospital/clinic sales and $7.20 for radiopharmacy sales. The dose size is not specified.

The committee obtained 2008 data on actual prices for Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate sold by several radiopharmacies. These prices were obtained from three large U.S. health care organizations that purchase Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate from these radiopharmacies. Price quotes are provided for individual Tc-99m pertechnetate doses and for bulk Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate. Most of the prices fall in the range from $0.28 to $0.45 per mCi, but two prices were much higher, about $0.90 per mCi.16

The committee estimated the cost for a dose of Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate by taking the middle of the price range noted above, neglecting the highest two prices, and multiplying by a dose size of 30 mCi. The result is about $11.00. The cost range, again neglecting the highest two estimates, is greater than ± 20 percent. The committee did not obtain enough data to develop quantitative distributions of technetium dose costs.

DISCUSSION AND FINDINGS

The committee estimates the following costs/prices for medical isotopes at three points in the Mo-99/Tc-99m supply chain.

  • Cost for Mo-99 production in 2008: about $225 per 6-day curie with a cost variation of about ± 40 percent.

  • Price for technetium generators in 2005: The “average” cost of a 10 Ci generator is about $1,900 with a variation of about ± 25 percent.

  • Price for a Tc-99m dose in 2008: about $11.00 per dose of Tc-99m sodium pertechnetate, with a price variation of over ± 20 percent based on the information that was available to the committee.

15

The amount of Tc-99m used in a single medical isotope procedure depends on the procedure itself and the body mass of the patient.

16

The $0.90/mCi prices were not for standard dose quantities and may reflect higher labor costs associated with preparation and assaying.



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