09.28.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Successfully Secures Funding to Advance Medical Innovations in Wisconsin

Baldwin amendment included in final appropriations bill will fund and advance Department of Energy efforts to establish domestic production of medical isotopes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After securing Senate passage of a bipartisan amendment to promote medical innovations in June, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s effort to secure $20 million to advance domestic production of a commonly-used medical isotope was signed into law by President Trump last week.  The provision will help accelerate the development of a domestic source of medical isotopes used to conduct health procedures, including cancer and heart screenings.  It was included in the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2019 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill finalized last week.

The amendment included in the legislation, introduced with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), will 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 appropriations legislation 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 provide results for our Made in Wisconsin companies that create and innovate to improve public health and save lives.”

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Baldwin is working to 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.