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Valsartan: Dangerous Prescription

Valsartan began its life as Diovan in 2002. Novartis exclusively manufactured the blood pressure medication until 2012. Then, the patent expired allowing generics into the market. One generic name is Valsartan.

Valsartan is a medicine that treats blood pressure. Many Americans depend on Valsartan or other generics to manage high blood pressure. My mother uses it. Which is why I was concerned when I heard about the recall.

WARNING: It is important to continue taking prescription medicine as directed by your doctor. If you believe your prescription is recalled, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Abruptly stopping any medication may cause immediate harm. Discuss your options with your prescribing doctor before making any changes.

recall of popular blood pressure medicine

Blood Pressure Medicine Recall

In 2018, testing of a small batch of Valsartan found amounts of a dangerous chemical. Since then, the recall has expanded to include Valsartan, Losartan, and Irbesartan.

Chemical Impurity

An investigation revealed a chemical impurity was the reason for the recall. N-Nitrosodimthylamine (NDMA), NDEA, or NMBA levels are greater than believed safe by the FDA. These chemical impurities are a carcinogen byproduct of the manufacturing process. Many believe the carcinogens have been in these medicines since a manufacturing process change in 2011.

Manufacturing ByProduct

Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical makes several “sartan” medicines. In 2011, the company changed its manufacturing process. This change introduced the NDMA impurity. Several other companies followed and use the same manufacturing process. But, external testing showed a problem with impurities.

valsartan contamination recall

Flaws In Pharmaceutical Testing

Companies making blood pressure medicines are also responsible for safety testing their products. For years, no manufacturers reported any problems.

A pharmaceutical customer’s test discovered dangerous impurities in 2016. ZHP indicated those batches passed testing. 

In the US, a drug manufacturer found the same impurities. In the summer of 2018, the FDA issued a recall. Zhejiang Huahai was not the only manufacturer with dangerous impurities. 

FDA Expands Recall

The FDA was caught sleeping at the wheel. Multiple blood pressure medications contained carcinogen impurities. Several companies tested and recalled certain lots. The FDA expanded the recall several times. This went on from July 2018 through October 2019. But, there is still a flaw in the process.

valsartan timeline

Prescription Drug Testing

The FDA trusts prescription drug manufacturers to test their own products. A customer test showed the carcinogen back in 2016. But, ZHP did not test other lots for the same impurity. Zhejiang Huahai did not alert the FDA. In fact, they let it go on another 2 years.

Profits Before People

Companies, like Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical, put profits above public safety. Even though they make medicine, they don’t care about people’s health. They just want your money. In fact, if you get sick off one of their medicines, they’ll be happy to sell you the remedy!

Problems Caused By Tainted Valsartan

If you take Valsartan or another generic blood pressure medicine, talk to your doctor. Discuss the risks. It’s important to understand the FDA reports the contamination doesn’t affect all Valsartan.

Certain problems are caused by NDMA contamination. NDMAs cause specific cancers and liver disease. Additionally, stomach, liver, kidney, colorectal, bladder, or pancreatic cancer are linked to NDMAs.

When To Call A Lawyer

If you’ve been diagnosed with any of these cancers and have been taking Valsartan, you may have a case. But, it’s important to talk to a dangerous prescription lawyer. Help preserve your rights. 

Valsartan Cancer Lawyer

The legal team at Haggerty & Silverman helps people harmed by dangerous prescriptions. Call or text our office at 717-397-3200. Or use our online contact form to schedule a free Valsartan consultation.