On July 20, 2023, the official opening ceremony of the International BRICS Expert Forum on Nuclear Medicine took place in Moscow. The Forum was arranged by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and ROSATOM. The Forum is preceding the BRICS Health Ministers' Meeting scheduled for August 4, 2023 in South Africa.
The Forum brought together over 200 representatives of the BRICS Interstate Group from Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa. The event was attended by the heads and leading scientists of the largest research medical centers, manufacturers of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals from the BRICS countries, and representatives of state authorities in manufacturing radioisotope products for health care. They included the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Research Institute (IPEN); Indian Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), NTP Radioisotopes SOC Ltd. (South Africa), iThemba LABS (South Africa), China Isotope and Radiation Corporation (CIRC), Brazilian Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Society of Nuclear Medicine of India, Chinese Society of Nuclear Medicine (CSNM), and South African Society of Nuclear Medicine (SASNM).
The Expert Forum provides a venue for specialists from BRICS countries to exchange their experience in nuclear medicine, including in the use of advanced scientific developments in radionuclide diagnostics and therapy of socially significant diseases. Its key task is to discuss the development and manufacturing of medical devices, innovative radiopharmaceutical drugs, and the training of highly qualified personnel. For two days, the Forum attendees will address the issues of nuclear medicine development in the BRICS countries and efficient cooperation to achieve a common goal: improving the quality of life and increasing the life expectancy of citizens. In addition, the experts will discuss the establishment of the BRICS Nuclear Medicine Working Group and the development of a professional communication platform to discuss and implement advanced technology in nuclear medicine in the BRICS countries. The agenda will also include developing the national and international legal framework to create convenient logistics between the BRICS countries for delivering radiopharmaceuticals and medical devices that contain radionuclides for medical and scientific purposes.
Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, addressed the attendees of the International Expert Forum on Nuclear Medicine with a welcoming speech: «Today, nuclear medicine is a crucial direction for the development of a high-tech, personalized approach to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The Russian Federation is one of the largest suppliers of radiopharmaceuticals. We have registered and approved 60 radiopharmaceutical drugs for medical use. At the same time, the BRICS countries have significant potential in the development and application of nuclear medicine methods and resources. Currently, there is a need to consolidate our efforts for more efficient implementation of nuclear medicine achievements in practical healthcare. Significant attention should be paid to the interaction between the largest medical centers in the BRICS countries specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of oncological, cardiological, endocrine, and other diseases, in which nuclear medicine technologies play an increasingly important role today. This will make a significant contribution to improving the health of the population in all BRICS countries», the Minister of Health of Russia noted.
At the Forum opening ceremony, the experts were also addressed by Igor Obrubov, Director General of Rusatom Healthcare JSC (ROSATOM): «At ROSATOM, we consider the development of medical nuclear technology a strategic activity area. Also, as a socially responsible company, we see it as a way to contribute to our homeland's wellbeing. We are open to joint projects for nuclear medical technology development with friendly nations and believe that only by uniting the efforts of the medical community, managers, scientists, and business can we jointly achieve the essential common goal: the widespread use of nuclear medicine for diagnosis and treatment. I am positive it will help take the healthcare in our countries to a new level of quality».
The first day of the International BRICS Expert Forum on Nuclear Medicine is to be held in Moscow, and the second day of the event is planned to take place in Obninsk at the venue of A. F. Tsyb Medical Radiological Research Center (as part of the National Medical Research Center of Radiology of the Ministry of Health of Russia).
«Health Technologies» (JSC «Rusatom Healthcare») is a division that accumulates the expertise of ROSATOM in the field of healthcare. The company was created based on enterprises and institutes of ROSATOM with the aim of comprehensive development of medical technologies in Russia and abroad. The «Health Technologies» division is developing in four main areas: comprehensive solutions for medicine, production and supply of isotope products (to 50 countries worldwide), equipment for diagnosis and therapy, solutions for ionizing radiation treatment of products.
ROSATOM is among the top five largest global suppliers of raw isotope products used in the diagnosis and treatment of oncological disorders. In early 2023, construction of a new Rosatom plant for the production of medical isotopes began in Obninsk, the birthplace of the world's first nuclear power plant. The facility will be constructed in accordance with international GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards. The plant will be established on the basis of Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry subordinated to the State Corporation «Rosatom» and will become the leading production facility in Europe that manufactures a wide range of radiopharmaceuticals. In addition, the «Health Technologies» division is a manufacturer of medical equipment for radiation therapy and brachytherapy, implements projects for the construction of nuclear medicine centers in several regions of Russia, and is building a network of multifunctional centers for processing and sterilizing medical devices and food products in Russia and abroad.