MITA Applauds Senate Passage of Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act

09.26.13

Senate Unanimously Passes Legislation to Protect Domestic Helium Supply

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today applauded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Committee Ranking Member Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and former Committee Ranking Member Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) for spearheading unanimous passage of the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act (HR 527), which will prevent the premature closure of the Federal Helium Reserve.

“MITA commends the bipartisan efforts of the Senate to pass legislation to keep the Federal Helium Reserve operational for the sake of patients, innovation and the economy,” said Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA. “The passage of this legislation will safeguard patient access to critical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that are used to detect, diagnose and treat disease, facilitate medical research at academic institutions around the country that are spearheading life-saving innovations and prevent a needless disruption to the U.S. economy that would have put millions of jobs at risk.”

The Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act will now go to President Obama to be signed into law, thereby authorizing the Federal Helium Reserve – a federal facility that provides approximately 50 percent of domestic supplies of helium – to sell helium to private entities that help drive the U.S. economy.

Helium is a critical component used in the creation and operation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. MRI machines are essential to the advancement of medical research and the diagnosis of stroke, aneurysms, cancers, multiple sclerosis and other diseases. MRIs must be regularly replenished with helium in order to maintain normal operating temperatures.

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The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, is the collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiation therapy and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators and product developers. It represents companies whose sales comprise more than 90 percent of the global market for medical imaging technology. For more information, visit www.medicalimaging.org. Follow MITA on Twitter @MITAToday.



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