In April 2008, the SNM Board of Directors voted to establish the SNM's official position on radiopharmaceutical reimbursement under Medicare. The goal of the policy is to establish our official position on assuring adequate reimbursement for current and new radiopharmaceuticals, and thereby to preserve the future of our specialty.
Summary of SNM Approved Radiopharmaceutical Positions:
- All radiopharmaceuticals should be recognized and treated as drugs, not supplies.
- CMS should continue to reimburse all radiopharmaceuticals at charges reduced to cost in 2008 while working with the nuclear medicine industry (nuclear pharmacies and manufacturers) to develop standard payment methodology based on the average radiopharmaceutical invoice price (RIP) at the distributor or nuclear pharmacy level (patterned similar to average sales price model for traditional drugs).
- All radiopharmaceuticals should qualify for the same threshold as all other traditional drugs in 2008 ($60.00, currently) and beyond.
- CMS should accept and utilize external data sources to identify and appropriately reimburse radiopharmaceuticals, as CMS does for all other drugs. The most accurate sources of radiopharmaceutical cost data are nuclear pharmacies, distributors, and manufacturers.
SNM Releases Radiation Dose Optimization Position Statement
The position statement recognizes that the use of low levels of radiation in nuclear medicine procedures carries some possible risk. However, if an appropriate procedure—one that can provide the physician with clinical information essential to the patient's treatment—is not performed when necessary due to fear of radiation, it can be detrimental to the patient. The society stresses that the "right test with the right dose should be given to the right patient at the right time.
SNM Issues Joint Statement on Japan Crisis and Radioactive Iodine
SNM, the American Thyroid Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the Endocrine Society have published a joint statement cautioning Americans about the use of sodium iodide to protect the thyroid.
SNM Statement on FDA Radiation Reduction Program
On Tuesday, February 9, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an initiative to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure from three types of medical imaging procedures: computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies, and fluoroscopy.
SNM applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for recognizing the need to ensure patients are receiving the safest and most appropriate medical imaging procedures.
Use of Compounded Radiopharmaceuticals and Adjunct Drug Preparations
Some nuclear pharmacies compound certain radiopharmaceuticals and adjunct drugs, especially during times of shortages, after discontinuation by the manufacturer not related to safety issues, and for other reasons. A number of issues must be considered by a nuclear medicine facility before procurement of compounded durgs from a nuclear pharmacy. SNM developed the document "Use of Compounded Radiopharmaceuticals and Adjunct Drug Preperations" to address many of these considerations.
SNM Issues Joint Statement on Radioactive Precautions Following Radioactive Iodine Therapy
The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM), the American Thyroid Association (ATA), The Endocrine Society (TES), and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) have issued a joint statement supporting the current NRC rules regarding precautions following radioactive iodine therapy of patients with thyroid cancer.
Beyond-Use Dates (BUD) for Tc-99m
The term Expiration Date, often called Shelf Life, is typically defined as the latest date that a manufactured drug product can be used as determined by the manufacturer. The term Beyond-Use Date is typically defined as the latest date or time that a compounded drug preparation (as described in General Chapters <795> and <797> of the United States Pharmacopeia [USP]) can be administered as assigned by the compounding pharmacist or physician. Confusion may occur, however, because many practitioners use the term Expiration Date in a broad sense when they actually mean Beyond-Use Date. With this in mind, the Committee on Pharmacopeia created the document to recommend BUD for Tc-99m Radiopharmaceuticals.