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Government Control of Medical Radioisotopes

Marshall Brucer, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;179(2):181. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050020075020.
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To the Editor:—  On Aug. 26, 1961, federal regulation 49 CFR 197 was published in the Federal Register, Interstate Commerce Commission, "Transportation of Explosives and Other Dangerous Articles by Motor Vehicle," (vol. 26, No. 165, page 8040). The regulation states in essence that trucks delivering medical radioisotopes must have 2 attendants and must never stop near a hospital unless continuously attended. The regulation equates any radioactivity—diagnostic and therapeutic—with Class A and Class B explosives. The law states that a 10-μc. capsule of radioiodine might explode, unless guarded, and destroy a hospital.This may seem like an inconsequential regulation, but it means that the radioactive pharmaceutical manufacturers will have to increase the price of their drugs. It places a ridiculous restriction on the distribution of the drug. It was published in a manner and hidden by a verbiage that for all practical purposes was hidden from the public. None of the


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