Congress passes Medical Isotopes Production Act

After several years of starts and stalls, the U.S. Congress last week passed the American Medical Isotopes Production Act (S 99) to establish a program to support the production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) for medical use in the U.S.

The bill also calls for the U.S. to phase out the export of highly enriched uranium for the production of medical isotopes over a period of seven years.

Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the bill was approved by unanimous consent by the Senate and sent to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, according to the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI). S 99 was included in the conference agreement for the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013.

President Obama is expected to sign the final legislation, SNMMI said.

There are currently eight foreign producers of Mo-99 approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to import the product into the U.S.; no domestic facilities are dedicated to the production of Mo-99 for medical use.

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