GE warns of impending Ceretec shortage

Bad weather and flooding have forced Chalfont St. Giles, U.K.-based GE Healthcare to close its manufacturing facility in Gloucester, U.K., temporarily interrupting supplies of an imaging radiopharmaceutical.

The shutdown will result in an imminent shortage of Ceretec (technetium-99m exametazime) once current inventory levels have been depleted. Ceretec has two main indications: one for the visualization of cerebral blood flow and the other for labeling white blood cells to localize sites of infection and inflammation.

GE said in a letter to its customers that the manufacturing interruption "will last for several months" and that the facility must be recertified before it can resume production. The company anticipates that the facility will reopen by the end of this year.

In the meantime, GE has shifted some of its Gloucester-manufactured product lines to the company's production site in Oslo, Norway, but Ceretec cannot be manufactured elsewhere due to production and regulatory issues, the company said.

By staff writers
August 21, 2007

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