The company said its Shanghai facility, previously closed amid COVID-19 restrictions in China, will be close to 100% production capacity by next week. Said GE: “We will continue to work with impacted customers to help them plan several weeks ahead as supply progressively recovers.”
According to a recent New York Times report, thousands of Americans have had to wait for exams because of the shortage. As related by NYT, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf described the situation as “just unbelievable” while testifying to a U.S. Senate committee. “Someone with a stroke or heart attack wouldn’t be able to get an angiogram.”
The closure of the Shanghai manufacturing facility had GE Healthcare utilizing other global plants wherever possible.
The company notes on its website that its contrast media products are used in more than 100 million procedures globally every year — equal to three patient injections every second.
The imaging agent shortage is the latest example of supply chain problems that have been snarling medtech and many other industries. Such supply chain problems hit medtech giant Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) hard during its most recent fiscal quarter.
Medical device manufacturers are increasingly complaining about material and component shortages, especially semiconductors. Industry association AdvaMed is lobbying the Biden administration to prioritize medical devices when supplies are short.
Experts say that climate change could cause supply chain problems long after countries work through the COVID-19 pandemic.