Companies Recall Blood Pressure Medications Over Cancer Fears

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Valsartan products are used to treat patients with high blood pressure.

Revealing that the presence of NDMA was unexpected and is thought to be related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured, the official asked doctors to take necessary measures to protect the users of those drugs from NDMA complications and report side-effects or adverse events to the DRAP.

Several US companies had already begun voluntarily recalling products containing Huahai's valsartan after the FDA statement. Not all valsartan-containing medicines distributed in the United States have valsartan active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) supplied by this specific company. Solco, which is owned by Huahai Pharmaceutical, had about 45 percent of the market in 2017, according to John Brito, of Fore Pharma, a market research firm.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now taken the same step, after Zhejiang Hauhai had alerted authorities that it had discovered impurities in the ingredient that it produces.

To determine whether a specific product has been recalled, patients should look at the drug name and company name on the label of their prescription bottle.

Patients should contact their pharmacist or physician who can advise them about an alternative treatment prior to returning their medication.

Blood pressure meds have been recalled over cancer fears after it was discovered that the widely prescribed drug may contain a carcinogen, Time magazine reported.

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Shi Lichen, founder of Dingchen Pharmaceutical Management Consulting, said the recall might affect the company's profits this year, but would not affect the image of Chinese generic drugs. "Switch options are available for a hypertension patient".

Solco declined comment, but in a news release, acknowledged that the recall stemmed from detection of a trace amount of NDMA.

A listed Chinese pharmaceutical firm that makes and sells generic drugs to the global market including the U.S. and Europe, has recalled some of its products after finding that they may have been tainted by a cancer-causing substance. Teva did not return calls for comment.

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.

The case shows the reliance of consumers around the world on medicines containing active pharmaceutical ingredients made in China. This is raising concerns among the people about what medications can be used without causing further deterioration to the patients. According to Harry Lever, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, "It's not just valsartan".

"[I'm] very angry. I'm hurt".