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Cardinal Health Expands Manufacturing Capabilities for Pet Imaging Agents


Three additional Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities will be opened this year

New Orleans.— Cardinal Health, a global provider of products and services that improve the safety and productivity of health care, today announced that it will open three additional Positron Emission Tomography (PET) radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities near its existing nuclear pharmacy locations this year.

The company made this announcement in conjunction with the Society of Nuclear Medicine’s (SNM) 55th Annual Meeting, taking place in New Orleans, June 14–18.

These manufacturing facilities use cyclotrons to produce fluorine-18 (F-18), the radioactive precursor needed to create fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), the PET imaging agent commonly used to diagnose various diseases. FDG’s relatively short half-life of just under two hours makes it challenging to efficiently distribute the product over great distances.

By locating cyclotrons near its nuclear pharmacy sites, Cardinal Health is able to efficiently distribute FDG to a greater number of hospitals, clinics and research facilities using its comprehensive fleet and logistics capabilities.

The company currently operates 22 cyclotrons and distributes PET products through nearly half of its more than 150 U.S. nuclear pharmacy locations. This year Cardinal Health will open three new cyclotrons located in Tampa, Fla., Hartford, Conn. and Louisville, Ky.

In addition to FDG, the company’s new cyclotrons will produce a variety of other PET imaging agents to support oncology, neurology and cardiac imaging procedures.

“Making PET technology more accessible to a greater number of facilities, clinicians and patients is critical to the continued growth of molecular imaging,” said John Rademacher, general manager of specialty and nuclear pharmacy services for Cardinal Health. “By co-locating cyclotrons adjacent to select radiopharmacies within our network, we can enhance our distribution capabilities and more efficiently deliver these very short-lived imaging agents to the clinics and hospitals that need them.”

The company’s new cyclotron facility in Tampa, Fla. will be its third in the state, supplementing existing radiopharmaceutical manufacturing sites in Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando. It will be located on the campus of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Center, where it will support research and clinical programs in oncology. It will also supply imaging agents to other customers in the greater Tampa area.

The company’s new facility in Hartford, Conn., will house the first commercial cyclotron in the state; and its Louisville cyclotron will be the company’s first in Kentucky. The Hartford site will enhance Cardinal Health’s ability to serve nuclear pharmacy customers in New England, an area that is also serviced from its Boston and East Rutherford, NJ sites. The Louisville cyclotron will join Cardinal Health’s Cincinnati manufacturing facility in servicing central and northern Kentucky. It will also join the company’s St. Louis site in servicing western Kentucky.

Cardinal Health operates the largest radiopharmacy network in the United States with more than 150 nuclear pharmacy locations. It is also the largest employer of nuclear pharmacists in the world. The combination of nuclear pharmacy expertise and the size of its network allows Cardinal Health to reach more than 85 percent of all U.S. hospitals within three hours and provide service and clinical expertise to the nuclear medicine community.


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