Securing future of critical nuclear medicines

Dept of Industry, Science and Resources

The Albanese Government will provide a boost to Australia’s nuclear medicine capacity by investing in the ability of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to manufacture nuclear medicine to help treat thousands of patients for diseases like cancer and receive essential diagnoses.

This significant investment includes the construction of a new nuclear medicine manufacturing facility at ANSTO’s Lucas Heights campus in Sydney’s south.

This will ensure Australia has the sovereign capability to manufacture these essential medicines in the decades ahead.

The new facility will be sophisticated and purpose-built to produce and distribute nuclear medicine products to hospitals and medical clinics right around Australia.

On average, every Australian is likely to benefit from nuclear medicine and will require at least two nuclear medicine procedures during their lifetime.

Positron Emission Tomography or PET scans and bone density scans are the two most common imaging modalities in nuclear medicine.

Each week ANSTO produces approximately 12,000 patient doses of nuclear medicine which are sent to around 250 hospitals and medical centres in Australia and the region.

About 75-80 per cent of nuclear medicine isotopes used in Australia come from ANSTO.

With a 70-year history of scientific and nuclear expertise, ANSTO is a world leader in the research and advanced manufacturing of vital medicines used to diagnose medical conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

Australia needs a reliable and secure manufacturing capability to ensure access to these life-saving medicines is available for current and future generations of Australians. The building housing the existing facility is approaching the end of its operating life.

The new advanced nuclear medicine manufacturing facility will ensure ANSTO has the capability to locally produce the latest critical nuclear medicines for years into the future, giving patients access to early diagnosis and treatments, improving Australia’s sovereign capability and safeguarding against supply chain disruptions.

The design and implementation of the new facility will be confirmed by an independent review to be commissioned by my department, which is best practice for major public sector capital works. It will also be subject to a tender process. The new facility is expected to be completed by the early to mid 2030s.

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