GE adds charges for MRI scanners

Call it a sign of the times: GE Healthcare this week told customers that it will be adding surcharges to orders for new MRI scanners to reflect "soaring" costs for raw materials and energy.

The Chalfont St. Giles, U.K., company said it will be adding a "raw material and energy" surcharge to all new orders starting July 28. The surcharges will range from $15,000 for a 0.2-tesla open scanner to $80,000 for a 3-tesla scanner.

In announcing the charges, the company said that it had been absorbing "severe increases in raw material and energy costs" required for the production of MRI scanners. For example, from 2005 to 2008, prices of copper and steel, the main components of an MRI system, increased by 106% and 75%, respectively. Growing fuel costs have also added pressure on the company.

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