Blood pressure drug recalled on cancer fears

These Heart Disease Medication Made in China Have Been Recalled for Potentially Causing Cancer- WORLD OF BUZZ

Pharmacies in 22 countries including Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Greece, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain and Malta have been warned and asked to recall products containing Valsartan as a precaution.

Mina Tadrous, (pharmacy faculty, University of Toronto), explained that valsartan is a common drug used by people with high blood pressure.

"Despite the lack of conclusive evidence on whether NDMA is present in these products or whether they are truly unsafe, these measures were undertaken to pre-emptively protect consumers", a spokesman for the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said on Saturday.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that it is reviewing medicines containing the active substance valsartan that is supplied by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, a company in Linhai, China. Products have been recalled from a number of European countries, while certain national authorities, including in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada, have also issued recalls.

As it is now off-patent, it is used as ingredient in many other generic medicines.

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You should not stop taking your valsartan medicine unless you have been told to do so by your doctor or pharmacist. The original, Diovan, is now the third-most popular hypertension drug in Korea.

Health Canada has ordered a recall of a commonly used medication used to treat high blood pressure because of fears an impurity found in the drugs may cause cancer with long-term exposure.

However, not all Valsartan contains the carcinogen, only that made in China, the drug ministry noted. He had been taking a recently banned drug for over two years. He said the government needs to devise a system to alert patients if unforeseen problems arise concerning their medicine.

Health Canada is advising Canadians taking any valsartan drug to contact their pharmacist and health-care provider to determine what steps to take.

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