Chinese drug triggers cancer fears, recalled in SA


Drugs
Drugs.

In Summary

  • Valsartan-containing medicines are commonly used to treat patients with high blood pressure.
  • They reduce complications such as heart attack and stroke, and those who have had heart failure or a recent heart attack.
  • Zhejiang Huahai has already acknowledged that there was an impurity in some of its valsartan.

A Chinese drug used for high blood pressure and heart related illness has been recalled after it was found to contain an ingredient linked to cancer.

This follows detection of an impurity in the Chinese drug that may cause cancer, the South African health authority said on Tuesday.

Similar moves occurred across Europe after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) raised the potential cancer risk from the Valsartan on July 5.

Medicines containing the ingredient from China’s Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical have been recalled.

“This review was triggered because of the detection of an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the valsartan active substance which the company supplies,” the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority said in a statement.

The health authority said not all valsartan-containing medicines are affected, but only Dynaval Co tablets.

The recalled Chinese drugs are commonly used to treat patients with high blood pressure.

They reduce complications such as heart attack and stroke, and those who have had heart failure or a recent heart attack.

Zhejiang Huahai has already acknowledged that there was an impurity in some of its valsartan.

It said the Chinese drug had sales of $50 million in 2017 and added that countries were recalling the products as a precautionary measure.

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