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Nuclear Medicine Update: "Moly" Bill Passes House Committee and EANM Annual Congress a Big Splash

Kathy Mahdoubi, Senior Correspondent | October 23, 2009
The 2009 EANM Exhibition
in Barcelona
The Society of Nuclear Medicine announced Friday that HR Bill 3276, milestone legislation that could open doors to future U.S. supply of molybdenum-99, has passed the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill will now be presented to the House for a full vote and is expected to be passed by the end of the month.

"This legislation is giving the Department of Energy the charge to help develop the production of molybdenum-99 and $165 million dollars would be devoted to the effort," said Dr. Robert Atcher, immediate past-president of the Society. "It's good news for us that there is recognition in the Congress that there is a problem and we need to use our resources at the federal level to solve the problem."

There are two major aspects of the legislation -- to fund domestic projects for the supply of molybdenum-99 and to establish the conversion from highly enriched uranium targets, which are associated with nuclear weapon proliferation, to low-enriched targets, which are not involved in weapons production. If passed, the time line for accomplishing these goals would be seven to 12 years.

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"It's within the time frame that we think is reasonable, but suppliers will need to start actively exploring the re-engineering of their processes to meet that goal."

2009 EANM Annual Congress a Hit

The Annual Congress of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine was recently held in Barcelona, Spain. Attendance appeared to be very strong, with more than 5,530 participants taking part in EANM 2009, held Oct. 10-14 at the Barcelona International Convention Center.

Don Bogutski, president of Diagnostix Plus, a major provider of nuclear medicine systems, parts and service, was in attendance and offered DOTmed some insight into the meeting and the European nuclear medicine industry.

"We go to that meeting every year," said Bogutski. "Unlike recent nuclear medicine shows -- the Society of Nuclear Medicine meeting in June and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology [earlier this month] -- the meeting in Spain seemed to be better attended and was more upbeat in its tone."

Bogutski said that it was reportedly the best-attended nuclear medicine meeting at this venue; he relayed three major market influences contributing to the disparity between the most recent nuclear medicine conferences in North America and EANM. For one thing, there seemed to be some relief from the tension surrounding Molybdenum-99 supply shortages, a tension that had been palpable at the SNM annual meeting this year.