A SURVEY ON THE USAGE AND DEMAND OF MEDICAL RADIOISOTOPE AND RADIOPHARMACEUTICALS IN MALAYSIA
Medical radioisotope is a small quantity of radioactive substance used for the purpose of diagnostic and therapy of various diseases. In Malaysia, the emerging of new nuclear medicine centers or institutions in both government and private sectors rose abruptly for the past few years. Currently, there are no data available on the usage and demand of these medical radioisotope or radiopharmaceuticals. The aim of this study is to assess current medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals usage and also to provide data on current medical radioisotope and radiopharmaceuticals demand for both private and government hospitals or institutions in Malaysia. A survey for a period of 3 months was conducted across Malaysia. The survey was divided into five (5) main parts and it was distributed among healthcare professionals involved working with medical radioisotope and radiopharmaceuticals in private, government and university based hospitals or institutions and was distributed manually either by hand, mail or e-mail. Data is presented in either pie chart or bar chart. Survey results found out that the highest demand and the highest usage among all radioisotopes are Technetium-99m and radioiodine isotopes such as the iodine-131, iodine-131 MIBG, iodine-123 and iodine-123 MIBG. Technetium-99m is the backbone of nuclear medicine whereby more than 80% of Nuclear Medicine services utilize this radioisotope. Technetium-99m supply chain is unstable globally and in coming future, two main reactors that produce 60% of world Molybdenum-99 will shut down and the supply of molybdenum-99 will be disrupted. In radioiodine services, currently, Iodine-123 can’t be obtained in Malaysia and neighboring countries due to its short half-life. Iodine-123 is useful in diagnostic of thyroid related diseases. As for PET services, the highest demands are F-18 FDG and gallium-68 Generator. It is important for Malaysia to self-produced medical radioisotope and radiopharmaceuticals to meet the local market demand.