Strategies for Addressing Shortage of Iohexol Discussed

Immediate response should include establishment of institution-wide committee to create plans for contrast conservation

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TUESDAY, May 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Strategies for addressing the current shortage of iodinated contrast media (ICM) are discussed in a special report published online May 19 in Radiology.

Noting that a Chinese government lockdown in Shanghai on March 31, 2022, impacted the primary GE Healthcare pharmaceutical manufacturing facility for iohexol ICM, Thomas M. Grist, M.D., from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues address strategies for dealing with the shortage of ICM in the near term and potential solutions to supply chain problems.

The authors note that four companies supply ICM to the U.S. market, and iohexol and iopamidol together comprise >90 percent of ICM infusions in the United States. Immediate responses to the ICM shortage include establishment of an institution-wide committee to create plans for contrast mitigation and conservation, engage stakeholders, and implement new workflows and processes. An important first step is to conduct an institution-wide inventory of ICM; for institutions facing a shortage of ICM, the possibility of delaying elective contrast-enhanced imaging studies should be considered, when safe. Institutions may seek to diversify their ICM vendors to avoid future crises. Mid-term strategies include contrast repackaging, utilizing multi-use and multi-access approaches. Longer-term responses to the ICM shortage include adapting the supply chain to prevent similar issues in the future. Increasing the number of sites for chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical preparation should be encouraged. In addition, hospitals and imaging centers should consider stockpiling ICM.

"We need to endeavor to ensure that companies with significant market share have diverse production locations and capacity," Grist said in a statement.

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