CHINA Recall of Chinese medication for high blood pressure linked to cancer

FDA Recalls Blood Pressure Heart Medicine After Cancer Causing Agent Discovered

FDA Recalls Blood Pressure Heart Medicine After Cancer Causing Agent Discovered

It has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Health and Wellness that some batches of Valsartan, a popular drug used to treat high blood pressure, is the subject of an worldwide recall.

Three companies agreed to voluntarily pull the generic drug containing valsartan after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that it may be tainted with the human carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

The FDA said not all products containing valsartan were being recalled in the United States.

He advised patients not to stop taking valsartan drugs without the doctor's permission, warning that going off medication without supervision could be risky.

Manufacturing companies in Pakistan who are importing raw materials from this Chinese company to produce medicines for sale in Pakistan are advised by the authorities to immediately stop using materials imported from this Chinese company and to recall the finished products containing material contaminated with NDMA. If the information is not there, patients should contact the pharmacy where they got it, the FDA said.

European countries, including Germany, Italy, Finland and Australia, have recalled drugs using valsartan supplied by Huahai following the Europe Medicines Agency issuing an alert to review such drugs earlier this month. "This is why we've asked these companies to take immediate action to protect patients", said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research. The FDA said the reason the NDMA was in the medications is "thought to be related to changes in the way the active substances was manufactured".

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"EMA has made this aspect of the review a priority and will update the public as soon as new information becomes available", the agency said. In combination with hydrochlorothiazide, it is used in the treatment of hypertension.

Valsartan is also used for the treatment of heart failure, and is indicated as a treatment for left ventricular failure, and dysfunction following myocardial infarction.

The list of recalled products includes Cinfaval and Co-cinfaval manufactured by Spanish Cinfa Laboratories, as well as Diostar and Diostar plus manufactured by Jordan's Pharma International Co.

FDA responses have reignited the matter of health and safety.

Both the FDA and EMA are further investigating. "It just makes me wonder if there's a link", Meade said.

Overall, more than two-thirds of all active drug ingredients originate in China and India, industry experts estimate, with China accounting for the lion's share.

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