The GE Healthcare production facility for iodinated contrast media in Shanghai experienced an unexpected, temporary shutdown that has created temporary supply pressure for radiographic contrast medium used before X-ray imaging.
This shortage was caused by the Chinese government lockdowns related to COVID-19, as 50% of the U.S. supply for this product comes from the Shanghai plant. Additionally, GE communicated that the impact is temporary, and the facility is now open and ramping up production as allowed by local COVID-19 mitigation protocols. However, GE said the intermittent impact to supply is anticipated to last until the end of July.
The California Department of Public Health has issued All Facilities Letter 22-10, which provides information related to communicating with local Medical and Health Operational Area Coordinators and local Licensing and Certification district offices related to contrast media shortages.
In addition, CHA has compiled a suggested mitigation list that may aid hospital efforts in managing the shortage:
- Consider creating a cross-divisional team made up of radiology, pharmacy, supply chain, operations, and other pertinent departments to address response.
- Continuously evaluate the amount of on-hand inventory and burn rate.
- Identify and communicate opportunities to reduce waste across all divisions.
- Identify other means of securing contrast media by working with your supply chain and procurement divisions.
- Change dosing protocols with input from radiology, physicians, and leadership to meet patient needs.
- Identify priority scans and determine if an alternate imaging media can be used.
- Reschedule/delay follow-up scans when appropriate to do so.
- Develop a communications plan for affected departments, providers, and potentially patients, if appropriate.
Additional resources are available:
- CHA Clinical Alert Sample Practice Guidelines
- Advisory from the American Hospital Association
- A bulletin from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, which represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in hospitals, health systems, ambulatory clinics, and other health care settings
- Guidance and information from the American College of Radiology’s Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media
- FDA drug shortage information on Iodixanol (Visipaque) Injection and Iohexol (Omnipaque) Injection
- American College of Radiology Statement