Shortage of iodinated contrast media diagnostic agents

TGA

This statement has been developed in collaboration with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is aware of a global shortage of iodinated contrast media (contrast) diagnostic agents. The TGA recommends urgent conservation of stock until the shortage is resolved as current supply is very limited.

Non-ionic contrast agent is used to enhance imaging in a wide range of diagnostic procedures in adults and children.

GE Healthcare, the sponsor of Omnipaque (iohexol) and Visipaque (iodixanol), has notified the TGA of a shortage of multiple presentations of both these products due to reduced manufacturing capacity and freight delays caused by the recent unexpected COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai, China.

GE Healthcare is the largest supplier of contrast media in Australia and expects to resume normal supply in mid-June 2022. Any updates to the return to supply date will be published on the Medicine Shortage Reports Database.

In the meantime, the TGA is working with a range of stakeholders to manage the shortage including working with sponsors who are investigating the import and supply of overseas registered non-ionic contrast media agents under section 19A of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

The TGA has worked with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) to develop general guidance to assist health professionals to conserve stock urgently (see ‘Information for health professionals‘ section below).

Information for consumers

Iodinated contrast media (contrast) is regularly used to enhance computerised tomography (CT) and other imaging such as angiography, which supports diagnosis and ongoing treatment for a large number of conditions.

Information for consumers and health professionals about what contrast is and why it is used to enhance CT imaging is available from Inside Radiology, a website developed by RANZCR.

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