MITA Applauds Signing of Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act into Law

10.03.13

Washington, D.C. – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) today applauded President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Committee Ranking Member Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), House Natural Resources Committee Chair Representative Richard  “Doc” Hastings (R-WA), former Committee Ranking Member Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and current Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) for working together to sign the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act into law (H.R. 527) and prevent the premature closure of the Federal Helium Reserve.

“MITA commends the President and the bipartisan efforts of Congress to enact legislation to keep the Federal Helium Reserve operational for the sake of millions of American patients and the U.S. economy,” said Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA. “The passage of this law will safeguard patient access to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which are essential to the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and ensure a reliable supply of helium for a broad range of industries and research entities that contribute to our country’s economic and scientific leadership.”

The Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act authorizes 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.

###

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.