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Natural Resources Canada
2010/13
March 31, 2010

Government Responds to Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production, Invests in New Technology Solutions


OttawaThe Honourable Christian Paradis, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today released the Government’s response to the report of the Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production.

“The Expert Review Panel has provided insightful guidance, and its report is playing an important role in the development of our isotope policy,” said Minister Paradis. “We carefully considered the panel’s advice and have already begun to act on their recommendations.”

The Government’s response includes a $48-million investment announced in Budget 2010 to support the research, development and demonstration of new technologies for the production of medical isotopes; establish a clinical trials network; and optimize the use of isotopes in the health system.

“Canada has some of the greatest minds in the world, and we are investing in Canadian innovation to diversify our sources of medical isotopes and reduce the production of radioactive waste,” said Minister Paradis. “This initiative will build upon existing expertise and help Canada remain a world leader in the area of medical isotope technology.”

Consistent with the recommendations of the Panel, these initiatives will lay the groundwork for a more secure and sustainable domestic supply of medical isotopes. While investing in medium- and long-term solutions, the Government of Canada is continuing to take action to address short-term isotope supply issues.

The supply of medical isotopes is a global issue and requires a global solution. The Government of Canada has spearheaded work, through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, to make the global supply of medical isotopes more secure and predictable.

Domestically, we are helping Canadian healthcare providers to adapt to periods of shorter supply. This includes ongoing updates about supply levels to healthcare professionals so that they can effectively plan ahead. The Government has also instructed Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to bring the NRU back online as quickly, and as safely, as possible while working to extend its operating license to 2016.

To obtain a copy of the Government’s response to the Expert Review Panel’s report, or to find more information on the Government of Canada’s actions on medical isotope supply, visit www.isotopes.nrcan.gc.ca.


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Margaux Stastny
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
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