Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq announced yesterday that Health Canada has approved a new source of the medical isotope Iodine-131 to treat thyroid cancer in Canada.
Health Canada has authorized Draximage of Montreal to supply I-131 from South Africa’s Safari reactor to Canadian health care facilities. This decision comes after the department determined that I-131 produced by the Safari reactor was safe and effective for use by Canadian health care providers.
Production of I-131 in Canada was interrupted by the unplanned shutdown of the Chalk River National Research Universal reactor in May.
“This is good news for thyroid cancer patients in Canada and their health care providers,” said Minister Aglukkaq.
“Our Government continues to find solutions to help address the current isotope shortage.”
The minister added that the approval means that Draximage will continue to supply all of Canada’s requirements for the I-131 isotopes.
The company says the transition to this new supply source will be seamless and immediate.