The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has recently released a report stating that the federal funding for basic molecular imaging/nuclear medicine research should be restored to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The report, which took 13 months and $700,000 from the DOE and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was prompted by a $23 million cut in funding from the fiscal year 2006 budget. The budget effectively eliminated most financial backing for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging research.
"The loss of funding for nuclear medicine research in the U.S. Department of Energy budget has been a tremendous blow to—most importantly—our current and future patients and our field," said Alexander McEwan, SNM president. "The NAS study confirms the importance of basic nuclear medicine research, and the society.”
If funding is not restored in the 2008 fiscal year, it will be detrimental to researchers and their labs, according to SNM.
SNM reported that the NAS report recommends:
- an enhanced federal commitment to nuclear medicine research;
- the regulatory requirements for toxicology and current good manufacturing practices facilities be clarified and simplified;
- the domestic medical radionuclide production be improved,
- DOE and NIH convene expert panels to identify critical national needs for training nuclear medicine scientists; and
- interdisciplinary collaboration.
According to Robert Atcher, SNM president-elect, SNM “needed at least two more years of funding to demonstrate the biologic effectiveness of our approach before the NIH would consider funding the work."