GE Healthcare Announces Moves to Bolster Supply of Iodinated Contrast Media for CT and X-Ray Imaging

A multi-year agreement with a large Chile-based supplier of raw iodine is part of GE Healthcare’s commitment to increase the production of iodinated contrast media, commonly used in computed tomography imaging, by 30 million annually in 2025.

In a move to fortify the supply of iodinated contrast media (ICM) for computed tomography (CT) and X-ray imaging, GE Healthcare has entered into a multi-year partnership with Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM), a mining company in Chile, to secure and increase the supply of raw iodine material, a core ingredient for ICM.

Reportedly one of the largest worldwide producers of iodine, SQM said approximately 24 percent of its iodine production is utilized for ICM in medical imaging. The agreement between GE Healthcare and SQM calls for annual increases of iodine supply. This is part of a commitment from GE Healthcare to increase the production of ICM patient doses by 30 million annually by 2025, according to the company.

(Editor’s note: For related content, see “Can EHR Interventions Have an Impact in Conserving Iodinated Contrast Media in Radiology?,” “Iodinated Contrast Media Shortage: Practical Solutions and Applications in Radiology” and “Lessons Learned from the Iodinated Contrast Media Shortage: A Neuroradiologist’s Perspective.”)

GE Healthcare also announced a $30 million investment in a new manufacturing line at its contrast media production facility in Cork, Ireland.

“We expect global demand for iodinated contrast media to double in the next 10 years,” noted Kevin O’Neill, the president and CEO of GE Healthcare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics. “As an industry leader, we understand our responsibility to help meet this growing demand from customers and patients by investing in production capacity and securing higher volumes of iodine raw material.”