GE HealthCare today announced it is investing $80 million to expand contrast media production capacity in Norway.
The investment will go toward increasing manufacturing capacity by 30% at its active pharmaceutical ingredients site in Lindesnes, Norway. As a result, the investment will create around 100 new jobs.
GE HealthCare officials have committed to addressing the significant global demand for iodinated contrast media. The media enables a host of X-ray and computed tomography (CT) procedures around the world.
Supply chain disruption related to contrast media caused thousands of Americans to have to wait for exams earlier this year.
Part of GE HealthCare’s overall strategy to boost contrast media supplies
GE HealthCare’s announcement comes after it announced a long-term agreement with Chile-based mining company SQM to secure its supply of iodine for vital imaging agents.
Iohexol and iodixanol APO go into over 100 million patient doses of GE iodinated contrast media annually. The media enhances the visualization of organs, blood vessels and tissue across disease pathways.
GE HealthCare has also invested in a new production line at its Cork, Ireland facility. Along with the Norway expansion, the company expects to produce 30 million more patient doses per year by 2025.
“We expect global demand for iodinated contrast media to double in the next 10 years, driven by global prevalence of chronic disorders and significant growth in CT procedures. This investment in capacity expansion at our Lindesnes facility is another example of how we, as an industry leader, are addressing this growing demand to meet the needs of our customers and their patients across the globe,” GE HealthCare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics President and CEO Kevin O’Neill said in a news release.
The 100-acre site in Norway has been in operation since 1974 and currently employs 450 people who use chemical pharmaceutical processes to convert iodine into finished API.