Government of Canada

Government of Canada

May 28, 2009 13:47 ET

Government of Canada Announces Expert Review Panel for Long-Term Isotope Supply Solutions

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 28, 2009) - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, announced today that the Government of Canada will establish an expert panel to review proposals from the private and public sectors for new sources of key medical isotopes for Canada.

"Identifying new ways to secure the supply of medical isotopes is part of the five-point strategy I announced last December to address vulnerabilities in the isotope supply system," said Minister Raitt. "While we continue to work domestically and internationally to address the current shortage resulting from the outage of the NRU, we are also seeking expert advice with regard to medium- and long-term solutions."

"Our government acknowledges the hard work of health professionals, and provincial and territorial governments, across Canada who are on the front lines of the current isotope shortage and have mobilized to minimize its impact on the health needs of their patients," said Minister Aglukkaq. "I will continue to work with the medical community and the provinces and territories as this situation evolves."

The Government of Canada has been approached by organizations with several concepts concerning the production of a key medical isotope, molybdenum-99/technetium-99m, for the Canadian market. While there are no easy solutions and no proposal received to date will produce isotopes in the immediate future, a thorough criteria-based analysis will help guide the government and private sector participants towards medium- and long-term solutions.

In order to identify the most promising solutions, the Government of Canada will seek submissions from private and public sector organizations and will establish the expert review panel to assess the concepts and proposals against identified criteria. The expert review panel will bring together world class expertise in the domains of health science, applied science and public policy.

The process will provide a solid factual basis to support sound decision making. The panel will provide its assessment in the fall.

To ensure that the broadest range of ideas and concepts are advanced and thoroughly assessed, the process will be open and will encourage organizations that have submitted or are interested in submitting proposals, to participate.

The following backgrounder is available at

Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Ottawa
    Jasmine MacDonnell
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Ottawa
    Tim Vail
    Director of Communications
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations