Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Companies Recall Blood Pressure Medications Over Cancer Fears

Companies Recall Blood Pressure Medications Over Cancer Fears

Three companies that sell the generic drug, valsartan, in the United States agreed to recall it after the FDA said might be tainted by N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), considered a probable human carcinogen.

Some drugs used to control high blood pressure and prevent heart failure were voluntarily recalled this past week due to an impurity that could possibly lead to cancer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. The agency is still testing medicines and many European countries have already recalled the drug.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA also confirmed the recall, saying in a statement that "29 lots of single and 51 lots of combination valsartan medicines" which were manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical and distributed by the Actavis label, were being recalled due to the detection of NDMA. Its share price [SHA:600521] closed down almost 7.1 percent at CNY21.78 (USD3.26) today, after rising for most of last week.

Huahai customer Harbin Medisan Pharmaceuticals has also recalled valsartan dispersible tablets made using Huaihai ingredients. The department added that it is in continuous contact with World Health Organization, institutions and other health organization for medicines and pharmaceuticals.

However, not all products containing valsartan are being recalled.

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Because valsartan is used in medicines to treat serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled valsartan-containing medicines are being advised to continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product, according to the FDA.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which first raised the alarm over the Chinese supplied valsartan on July 5, said it was now working to establish how long and at what levels patients might have been exposed to the impurity known as NDMA.

"We have carefully assessed the valsartan-containing medications sold in the United States, and we've found that the valsartan sold by these specific companies does not meet our safety standards". - If a patient is taking one of the recalled medicines, they should follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company. "This is why we've asked these companies to take immediate action to protect patients", said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

This is the list of medications recalled by the FDA.

So far, neither Prinston Pharmaceutical, Major Pharmaceuticals, nor Teva Pharmaceuticals has received any reports of adverse reactions to the recalled products.

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