Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

June 19, 2009 12:10 ET

Natural Resources Canada: Government of Canada Announces Expert Review Panel Members and Call for Expressions of Interest to Supply Isotopes in the Medium and Long Term

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 19, 2009) - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the members of the Expert Review Panel and launched the process to solicit ideas for the alternative production of the key medical isotopes, Molybdenum-99/Technetium-99m, over the medium and long term.

"I am pleased that these accomplished individuals have agreed to provide their expertise and diverse international experience to assess options to secure a sufficient and reliable isotopes supply for Canada in the medium to long term," said Minister Raitt. "The call for expressions of interest will encourage organizations in both the private and public sectors to come forward with plans for securing the supply of the key medical isotopes. While there are no quick or easy solutions to the isotopes shortage, this process will help us identify the very best prospects for future sources of supply."

The Government of Canada has already been approached by organizations with several concepts concerning the production of the key isotopes for the Canadian market. In order to get the broadest range of ideas the government is opening up the process to all interested organizations.

In the pursuit of its work, the Panel may request information from any source, including first-class nuclear scientists and nuclear medicine specialists from Canada and around the world, to better understand the many considerations that have bearing on the determination of a long-term strategy for Canada. The Government of Canada will engage Canada's nuclear medicine community, as well as the broader medical community, and their national professional associations.

The Panel will assess the expressions of interest and provide advice and guidance to the Government on medium- and long-term solutions. The members are:

- Richard Drouin, Counsel in the law firm McCarthy Tetrault and former Chairman of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation;

- Peter Goodhand, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, with more than 25 years experience in the health care sector, will serve as Chair of the panel;

- Dr. Thom Mason, Laboratory Director at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, a multi-program science and technology laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, one of the world's leading nuclear scientists; and

- Dr. Eric Turcotte, Clinical Head of the Molecular Imaging Center of Sherbrooke, and Associate Professor, University of Sherbrooke, one of Canada's foremost nuclear medicine researchers in the development and use of new medical isotopes.

The Expert Review Panel will assess the expressions of interest against the following criteria: technical feasibility, business implementation, timeliness of solution, regulatory considerations and benefits to Canadians. The expressions of interest should be submitted to the Government of Canada by July 31, 2009, and should clearly respond to the criteria outlined above. More information on the submission process is available at www.isotopes.nrcan.gc.ca. The Panel will complete its final report by November 30, 2009.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Government of Canada has announced the membership of the Expert Review Panel to assess the expressions of interest to supply medical isotopes over the medium and long term. Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt says the expressions of interest should be submitted to the government by the end of July. The Panel will complete a final report by November 30, 2009.

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Biographies - Expert Review Panel

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Ottawa
    Jocelyne Turner
    Press Secretary
    613-996-2007
    or
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    613-992-4447