U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Leads Bipartisan Amendment to Support Medical Innovations

Amendment funds and advances Department of Energy efforts to produce domestic medical isotopes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is leading a bipartisan amendment for inclusion in the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill that would devote $20 million to continue establishing domestic production of a commonly-used medical isotope needed to conduct health procedures, including cancer and heart screenings.

The amendment, introduced with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), would support Wisconsin companies like SHINE Medical Technologies in Janesville and NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes in Beloit that are leading the nation in developing key medical innovations.

“Medical isotopes are critical to American health care, and our Wisconsin entrepreneurs are working to deploy a Made in America source of this much-needed diagnostic tool for patients and families,” said Senator Baldwin. “This amendment gets our domestic production back on track to ensure health care providers can source this critical medical isotope domestically and reduce our reliance on foreign sources. I am proud to continue advocating for our Made in Wisconsin companies that create and innovate to improve public health and save lives.”

The amendment would support the Department of Energy’s (DOE) efforts to establish domestic production of the medical isotope Molybdenum-99, or commonly known as Mo-99. Mo-99 helps 50,000 patients a day in the U.S. by providing early detection and enabling treatment of cancer and heart disease.

Mo-99 is not yet made in the United States. Instead, the U.S. imports 100% of supply from foreign nuclear research reactors and production facilities, with the nation’s main supplier being an aging facility in the Netherlands. Mo-99 lasts only three days, so distance from the manufacturer affects both amount and price of supply.

Various groups and entities support domestic production of Mo-99, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Lung Cancer Alliance, Medical Imaging Coalition, American College of Radiology, American College of Cardiology, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Cardinal Health, GE Healthcare, and Lantheus Medical Imaging.