PRINCETON, N.J., June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GE Healthcare today announced the availability of DaTscan™ (Ioflupane I 123 Injection), in more than 80 hospitals across the US. DaTscan is the first FDA-approved radiopharmaceutical adjunct imaging agent to help physicians evaluate patients with suspected parkinsonian syndromes (PS), such as Parkinson's disease (PD). It gives physicians diagnostic capability that may lead to timely, appropriate treatments for suspected PS patients.
"This is a major advance in the diagnostic imaging space. GE Healthcare personnel are working extremely closely with hospitals to ensure that these institutions have the proper facilities to handle and use DaTscan and that physicians are trained properly," said Donald J. Quinn, Vice President and General Manager, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics.
DaTscan is a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Schedule II controlled substance. Hospitals and nuclear imaging centers that administer DaTscan must have infrastructure dedicated to quality control, handling and dispensing of DEA Schedule II, radioactive drugs used for diagnosis and treatment.
"We have a thorough process in place to provide institutions with assistance in DEA-controlled substance registration, imaging equipment set-up, and personnel training for radioactive drug handling and patient imaging protocols," said Quinn.
Fifty thousand to sixty thousand new cases of PD are diagnosed in the US each year,(1) but an accurate diagnosis can take up to six years. Many people mistakenly attribute the first symptoms of PS, such as PD, to the normal aging process, and many have misconceptions about diagnosis. A recent survey by the National Parkinson Foundation found that 33 percent of Americans believe that a blood test can detect PD, while 30 percent did not know. Although doctors can run blood tests to help diagnose a number of conditions, they cannot diagnose PD based on the results of a blood test.(2) D