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Q&A with Sally W. Schwarz, 2016-2017 President of SNMMI

Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | June 13, 2016
From the June 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


HCB News: Are there any big developments for SNMMI that you’d like to highlight?
SS:
SNMMI is working on developing Appropriate Use Criteria for nuclear medicine procedures. The Protecting Access to Medicare legislation detailed the delivery of AUC via a clinical decision support tool which referring physicians would need to utilize before ordering advanced diagnostic imaging services. The SNMMI Evidence and Quality Department has started laying the groundwork to form multidisciplinary workgroups to develop AUC. This process will take a number of years to complete. We have also seen some exciting work in the area of new imaging drug development. The Society will continue working with the FDA, the National Cancer Institute and others to push forward advancements in the next generation of imaging agents.

HCB News: What tops the membership’s wish list for what they want from the Society?

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SS:
I think members want interaction. They want to feel that there’s something they gain from the Society. Overall, the SNMMI is working to reach out to the younger generations and understand how they view the world, and how they want information provided to them. Young people are our future, and we need to understand how we can work together. I think young professionals tend to stand back, but we want to encourage their involvement and show them it’s worthwhile to be involved.

Another area of importance is the supply production of Mo-99, which is the source of the Tc-99m used in traditional nuclear medicine. The Canadian reactor, which in the past was the primary supplier of Mo-99 for the U.S. market, will be stopping routine Mo-99 production in 2016, but it is going to remain in standby mode for emergency needs. The supply of Mo-99 is now being produced at a number of reactors throughout the world, including Belgium, France, South Africa and Australia. The U.S. DOE/NNSA has also developed a program to encourage development of U.S.-based Mo-99 production without the use of [highly] enriched uranium.

There are currently three active cooperative agreement partners. Since the U.S. is the largest user of Mo-99 in the world, it makes sense to have Mo-99 production available in the U.S. As the SNMMI representative, I have been attending the High-Level Working Group, Mo-99 meetings, which include most of the producers in the world involved in the production and supply of Mo-99 and generator production. This includes the non-reactor-based producers that are under development in the U.S. This HLG Mo-99 group has worked to ensure that an ongoing reliable supply of Mo-99 will be available as needed for clinical use throughout the world.

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