GE Healthcare has dropped its controversial libel claim  against the Danish radiologist Henrik Thomsen, who had infuriated the company by repeatedly suggesting that Omniscan, an agent used to enhance the contrast in MRI scans, had caused a number of patients with kidney problems to develop a rare condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), leaving some dead and others permanently disabled.
A press release issued by the company  notes the two parties have reached a settlement and states:
It was not the intention of GE Healthcare by bringing proceedings for libel against Professor Thomsen to stifle academic debate. GE Healthcare objected to statements made by Professor Thomsen which it interpreted as suggesting that it had known from the outset that Omniscan caused NSF. GE Healthcare accepts, however, that Professor Thomsen’s concerns were expressed in good faith.
The dropping of the lawsuit comes  just a day after the lawyer for Thomsen announced that the researcher intended to launch a countersuit  against GE for defaming him in a previous press release (keep up, now). That earlier GE press release, which is no longer found on GE’s Web sites, reportedly called Thomsen a liar, accusing him of maliciously claiming that GE was recommending that Omniscan be injected into patients with kidney problems despite knowing it was dangerous.
In response to GE's withdrawal of its suit, Thomsen stood by his original comments about Omniscan but clarified that he never intended to suggest malice on the part of GE. No financial terms to his settlement with the company have been announced.
And the status of Omniscan remains ambiguous. GE maintains that there is no proof that it causes NSF, but, based on the correlation between administration of the contrast agent and development of the condition, it has not contested the advice of global health care regulators (including FDA) that the drug, and similar contrast agents, should not be given to patients with reduced kidney function.