More than 200 representatives from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have descended on Russia’s capital city, Moscow, to explore ways to collaborate on the use of nuclear medicine.
Their main goal is to fast-track healthcare within BRICS countries.
According to a statement from the Russian State-owned company, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, the International BRICS Expert Forum on Nuclear Medicine was arranged by the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Health.
It was attended by the heads and leading scientists of the largest research medical centres, manufacturers of medical radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals from the BRICS countries.
The nuclear expert forum comes days before the start of the Russia-Africa Forum in St Petersburg, to be officially opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow. The forum is expected to discuss the strengthening of relations between both parties in the areas of politics, security, the economy, science and technology and culture.
The BRICS nuclear expert forum also featured representatives of state authorities in manufacturing radioisotope products for healthcare.
Among the top think tanks were representatives from 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 International BRICS Expert Forum on Nuclear Medicine is preceding the BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting scheduled for August 4, 2023, in South Africa. 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,” said Rosatom.
“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.”
As part of the meeting, the experts are expected to 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.
In his welcoming speech, Russian Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko, told the delegates that nuclear medicine was the future.
“Today, nuclear medicine is a crucial direction for the development of a high-tech, personalised 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,” said Murashko.
Murashko emphasised the need to consolidate efforts for more efficient implementation of nuclear medicine achievements in practical healthcare.
“Significant attention should be paid to the interaction between the largest medical centres in the BRICS countries specialising 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,” he added.
Rosatom Director General Igor Obrubov said developing medical nuclear technology was strategic for the BRICS partners and other countries outside the economic block.
“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 healthcare in our countries to a new level of quality,” he said.
During a press briefing held in Moscow, Professor and President of the Brazilian Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Rafael Lopez, said nuclear medicine was gaining international traction.
“Nuclear medicine today is becoming the world leader in boosting innovative technology that may significantly contribute to increased life expectancy of the population. That is why it is crucial to develop these technologies with international cooperation, given all the advanced experience of the BRICS countries.
“I hope that this format of international communication will become regular and allow us to expand joint activities between our nations aimed at developing nuclear technology for the benefit of medicine,” said Lopez.
While the first day of the forum is unfolding in Moscow, 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).