The Society of Nuclear Medicine and the American College of Nuclear Physicians have filed a petition with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), asking it to develop a regulatory program better suited to the risks presented by diagnostic nuclear medicine.
The January 4 petition asks the NRC to rescind its approval of portions of the proposed revisions to 10 CFR Part 35, which covers the use of byproduct material in diagnostic nuclear medicine. The commission does not currently regulate x-rays or machine-produced radioisotopes such as those used in PET.
Rather than realistically reforming the regulatory burden in Part 35, NRC left the existing regulations virtually unchanged, and created additional burdens by increasing the use of "license conditions" to impose requirements that do not appear in the regulations, according to the SNM and ACNP.
The organizations believe that rather than being based on actual risks, the new rules represent a step backward in the regulation of nuclear medicine. Complying with two sets of "meaningless" and "unnecessary" regulations could cost the U.S. healthcare system between $500 million and $1 billion, they stated.
By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
January 8, 2001
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