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Building a resilient Canadian Isotope supply chain critical for patients around the world

Posted by Marvin Calderon ⎜ Jun 3, 2020 ⎜ Industry

New study to explore ways to strengthen delivery of life-saving medical isotopes

TORONTO – June 3, 2020) – The Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) and Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC) have partnered in an innovative study to identify challenges and evaluate potential technology, logistical, regulatory and policy solutions in Canada’s medical isotope supply chain.

Canada is a Leader in the production and Global supply of Isotopes. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, this has been never been more evident supplying critical Isotopes for medical equipment sterilization and the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

“While the sector has managed well through the current challenges and played a critical role, the Pandemic has placed a laser-focus on the robustness of Supply Chains and now more than ever we need to understand the challenges, opportunities, and innovations are available to ensure life-saving isotopes,” said James Scongack, Chair of the CNIC. “It’s also essential to the sectors ability to grow through the development of new products and lines of business. Patients fighting cancer and other medical conditions all over the world rely on Canada for a safe and stable supply of medical isotopes. This presents a major challenge – and opportunity – for Canadian leadership in securing a safe and reliable supply of isotopes.”

The production and distribution of medical isotopes is a just-in-time activity conducted along a complex chain of global public and private sector actors. The products generally have a short shelf-life of effectiveness due to their half-lives. As we look ahead to expanding Canada’s role we need to evaluate potential technology, logistical, regulatory and policy solutions in Canada’s medical isotope supply chain.

“A reliable supply chain is critical to improving patient outcomes and expanding the industry,” said NII President Bruce Wallace. “The medical isotope industry and policy makers needs actionable intelligence to address vulnerabilities that inhibit growth of a strategic Canadian sector. And we need to assess whether new technologies provide potential solutions to addressing them.”

The research study will seek to:

  • Determine any appropriate recommendations to domestic and international regulators and/or policy makers to address supply chain and logistics challenges and opportunities;
  • identify the source and nature of the most significant weaknesses and strengths to further strengthen the supply chain;
  • determine if the Pandemic has raised new ‚Äì or exacerbated existing ‚Äì supply chain issues and assess the pandemic‚Äôs impact on demand;
  • place a value on the cost to the industry of supply chain disruptions to patients and the industry;
  • evaluate whether new technologies and platforms such as AI and machine learning can contribute to more predictive demand that would enable the industry to be more efficient and to expand into new lines of business.

For more information please contact:
Andrew Thiele
Manager Strategic Initiatives
Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council

About the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council
The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC) is an independent organization consisting of representatives from various levels within the Canadian health sector, nuclear industry and research bodies, convened specifically to advocate for our country’s role in the production of the world’s isotope supply.

For more information please contact
Bruce Wallace
Nuclear Innovation Institute

About the Nuclear Innovation Institute
The Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides a platform for accelerating the pace of innovation in the nuclear industry.

Nuclear energy is a powerful force for decarbonization. It creates good jobs, drives economic growth and produces radioisotopes that are used – among other benefits – for cancer detection and therapies that save lives in Canada and around the world. The Institute is founded on the belief that the industry can enhance these vital contributions by adopting a structured approach to fostering innovation.

NII’s goal is to shape a Canadian nuclear industry that embraces new thinking, new technologies and new lines of business that play a central role in the global shift to a low-carbon future.