The UK is currently experiencing temporary supply issues with some iodinated contrast media agents, due to manufacturing facilities operating at a severely reduced capacity as a result of recent COVID–19 lockdowns in China. Whilst it is anticipated that production capacity will increase in line with the gradual lifting of local restrictions over the coming weeks, the RCR is working closely with Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS), the Society of Radiographers (SoR), NHS England and Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care’s Medicine Supply Team to understand the extent of the supply issues, and to set out the key factors for consideration for imaging teams (e.g. radiologists, radiographers and associated professionals) and the services in which they work while the shortage remains.
The principal products impacted at the present time are Iohexol (Omnipaque®) and Iodixanol (Visipaque®), both manufactured by GE Pharma.
The supplier has advised that they are consolidating production capacity around key product volumes in order to maintain supply, specifically 100ml of Omnipaque® 300 and 350, 100 ml of Visipaque® 320, and 500ml of Omnipaque® 350. The 500ml product is multi-dose and can be used for 24 hours once opened.
You and your service should consider taking the following actions to mitigate the risks associated with short and/or intermittent supply of Omnipaque® and Visipaque®, to ensure patient safety and the continuation of an effective imaging service: