Nuclear Pharmacy eNewsletter
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In This Issue
Mo-99 Shortage
Thallium Webinar
Medicare Reimbursement
Triad Acquires Covidien
APhA Restructures
APhA Events
Calendar of Events
Nuclear Facts 

During the Tc-99m shortage, we will be using more Tl-201.  We know that Tl-201 is a potassium analog.  Thallium is also very toxic in therapeutic quantities due to the fact that  thallium works by knocking out the body's supply of potassium, essential for healthy cells, and attacking the nervous system, the stomach and the kidneys.  It was once used as a rat poison and insecticide, but very safe for imaging due to the few molecules  of thallium actually injected, which show no pharmacologic effect.
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Medical Imaging in the News
 
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Dear Nuclear Medicine Professional,

Yesterday it looked like an especially bad month for nuclear medicine with a Medicare reimbursement rate cut of 21% and a critial Mo-99 shortage this month.  Today, we have a delay on the rate cut until at least March 31st.  However, the shortage will get worse before it gets better.  The Petten reactor was taken offline joining the Chalk River reactor as being out of production due to repairs.  Nuclear pharmacists will be gathering in D.C. for the APhA where a very timely CE session will discuss the Mo-99 shortage program.  Hope to see you there!
Looming Isotope Shortage
Nuclear Reactor Shutdown The isotope-producing NRU reactor at Chalk River, Ontario remains closed until at least the end of April.  The Petten reactor recently went down for repairs that are expected to take six months.  This leaves the world in a critical shortage of Mo-99.  Covidien has announced that they have reached an agreement with the Maria research reactor in Poland to ease the shortage.   For the full article, and a calendar of availability, click here.
Imaging with Thallium Webinar
The American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and ICANL has made available a webinar titled Imaging with Thallium-201 During the Technetium Shortage.  It provides information for physicians and technologists who are not as familiar with Tl-201 imaging protocols.  View this free webinar...
Senate Delays Medicare Reimbursement Cut
Healthcare dollars Late yesterday evening, the U.S. Senate finally found some common ground after more than a week of deliberation on legislative language that would further delay the 21.2 percent cut to Medicare reimbursement caused by the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula (SGR). Yesterday's passage of H.R. 4691, which includes another one-month delay of the double-digit cut, is evidence that Congress is still unclear about what the best long-term solution to addressing the flawed SGR formula is. For now what is certain is that physicians providing care to Medicare beneficiaries will avoid a 21 percent cut until March 31, 2010, at which point Congress will have to address this issue for the third time this year.
Triad Isotopes to Acquire Covidien Pharmacies
In December, Triad Isotopes announced an agreement to acquire Covidien's 37 radiopharmacies.  The sale originally expected to be complete by the end of March will make Triad Isotopes the second largest nuclear pharmacy company with 63 radiopharmacies and 6 cyclotron facilities.  Press release annoucement.
APhA Restructures Academy Leadership
APPM Org Chart
The APhA had decided to restructure the Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management (APPM). The intent is to restructure in such a way that there is opportunity for shorter projects and more committee involvement for more people.  The Academy will continue to be governed by an elected President and Executive Committee that will represent the interests of APhA-APPM members.  Under the new structure, the Executive Committee will be expanded to include 6 Members-at-Large and a New Practitioner Officer.  The new Executive Committee will be comprised of 9 members whereas previously it was 5 members.  The Executive Committee will have the following elected members:  President, President-elect or Immediate Past President, 6 Members-at-Large, and a New Practitioner Officer.  The six Sections of the Academy will be transitioned to Special Interest Groups and will be led by non-elected, volunteer leaders.   View the organization chart and FAQs.
APhA Meeting Nuclear Pharmacy Events
APhA 2010 logo Just a few more days until nuclear pharmacists from around the country will converge on Washington D.C. to attend the APhA Annual Meeting.  Continuing education, networking, business meetings, award ceremonies, receptions, and more will make for a full slate of events.  Click here to see the nuclear pharmacy list of events.
Calendar of Events
March 5-7 Dartmouth Radiology PET-CT Symposium, Bretton Woods, NH
March 13-14 PNW Chapter 2010 Spring Meeting, Portland, OR
March 14-17 APhA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
March 19-21 SW Chapter SNM Annual Meeting, Fort Worth, TX
March 25-26 Eastern Great Lakes SNM Chapter Meeting, Niagara Falls, NY
March 26-28 Central Chapter- SNM 2010 Annual Spring Meeting, Fort Wayne, IN
June 5-9 SNM Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City
Renal scan
 
Nicki Hilliard, PharmD, BCNP
Professor of Nuclear Pharmacy
Renal CE program
Current Practices in Renal Imaging

Check out this educational and interactive CE program! View the program, take the quiz, and print your certificate of completion - all online for your convenience! Not to mention FREE!   For complete program information, including learning objectives, go to
www.nuclearonline.org.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Supported by an educational grant from