On October 14, the State Secretary of Health, Welfare and Sport, Mr. Blokhuis, informed the Dutch House of Representatives about the availability of medical isotopes in Europe.
There are concerns about the future availability of medical isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, from the moment the obsolete European research reactors close their doors permanently. This is evident from a recent European Commission report on therapeutic medical isotopes and from the first round of talks by the Special Envoy for medical isotopes.
Experts expect that the current European production capacity will not be able to meet the rapidly increasing demand for therapeutic isotopes. The experts argue that without replacement of European production capacity, the availability of medical isotopes – and thus important treatments for patients – will come under pressure. The study is therefore in line with the Cabinet’s conclusion that a new European reactor offers the best guarantee for security of supply of medical isotopes. A new reactor, with the accompanying knowledge infrastructure, will contribute to the availability of important diagnostics and innovative cancer therapies for European patients.
Among other things, the Special Envoy for medical isotopes, Ms. Jones-Bos, concludes that the PALLAS-project is welcomed in the EU to play a role in the desired security of supply. Not only because of the production capacity needed for European future security of supply, but also because of the preservation of the high-quality knowledge infrastructure in Petten and surrounding areas for the research and the development of new (cancer) therapies. The European Commission considers PALLAS to be the most advanced advanced initiative to guarantee security of supply in Europe.
In the talks with the European Commission, the possible use of funds from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) for PALLAS is being discussed. It is up to the new cabinet to decide on the follow-up financing of PALLAS.
The State Secretary’s letter can be found here (in Dutch).
The EU report ‘Study on sustainable and resilient supply of medical radioisotopes in the EU’ is available here.
The report from Special Envoy Jones-Bos is here (in Dutch).