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Discussion in 'GE Healthcare' started by Anonymous, Oct 15, 2009 at 6:44 PM.
While I have no love for GE after the way they treat their employees, especially those of us who were "bought" with the business, I thought it was interesting that Business Week failed to point out that Dr. Kanal has, in the past, spoken and put on seminars for one of the GE competitors (Bracco) that was not specifically mentioned in the article.
It's interesting that NSF didn't raise its head until Omniscan was on the market for more than 10 years (note: I was out of the business when NSF became an issue). Perhaps one of the related causes was promotion by GE ("No speed limit;" which encouraged reps to promote vaguely off-label high dose, high flow use, which would include MRA use); maybe there is a chemical component to it as well, but the issue has occured with all brands of MR contrast, so Omniscan use in itself is not the only factor.
But I'm sure GE buried their heads in the sand and didn't take a proactive stance on it ...
Regardless, Kanal is Chair of the ACR MR Safety Panel as well as a safety consultant to the FDA. You have to ask yourself this one question, "If you had a child or family member at risk for NSF would you feel comfortable giving them doses of Omniscan?" Period, point blank.
Well, I had an MRI a couple months back, got Omniscan and I lived.
NSF occurs with all agents; why more with Omniscan that others is still a point of contention. Only reason (and I was told this by a Bracco exec) that it didn't occur with ProHance is because you'd throw up if and when you got the dose that much and fast. I'm not a scientist and I've been out of the business since NSF raised its head, but still in touch with folks in the radiology trade and my unscientific reason is that GE spent a lot of time telling us to push Omniscan for high dose, high flow procedures (such as MRA without saying MRA) and we ended up jumping off the cliff when NSF became an issue.
Years back, even doctors were telling us that MRI dye was extremely safe; if you had a patient with high creatine, you could (if you wished, it would be expensive) use doses of MRI contrast for CT, etc. I always had a problem with this ... a drug that you maybe would use 20 mL may act much differently at 100 mL, 150 mL ... But then, I didn't go to medical school and I'd defer to the guy with the medical degree.
Maybe Kanal is a high and mighty safety guru, I won't argue that. But he's been a Bracco paid shrill since God was a kid, and that should have been reported as opposed to just printing the Bracco press release, a trait that seems pretty commonplace in today's "journalism."
And I have NO, ABSOLUTELY, NO love for GE ...
Fact of the matter is Omniscan has the most free roaming Gd of any of the agents on the market and one of the worst in terms of thermodynamic stability of all agents approved. It has more excess chelate than any of the approved agents in the US and is the least stable molecule only to Opimark, which no one uses. It doesn't take a scientist to know those facts. They are all in the package inserts. If it was no different than all of the others why does it have 90% of the confirmed cases of NSF when Magnevist has by far the largest marketshare in the world and very little confirmed cases. Double the marketshare three times less cases doesn't add up. Prohance and Multihance don't have confirmed cases but the marketshare is null.
Ask GE to release the testimony of former employees and consultants about what was known about the safety of omniscan since 1989 and what was hidden from the FDA. People would go to jail.
Lord knows I am anything but a shill for GE (which stands for Generally Evil), but hey, it wouldn't take the brightest graduate from Smart Lawyers School to get those documents, if they exist anywhere beside the fertile mind of Bracco Diagnostics and a few of their paid shills, in the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Bring it on.
I can think of a bunch of folks I would love to see perp walked. But chances are, it ain't gonna happen.