The drug regulatory authority is recalling heart medication that could cause cancer

July 15, 2018

Photo: Reuters

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has stopped nine companies from producing and distributing a drug used to control blood pressure and prevent heart failure because it may cause cancer.

The authority says the drug, valsartan, has chemicals that may cause cancer and has also recalled it from markets.

The move comes after the United States Food and Drug Administration recalled the drug on Friday for containing an ‘impurity’. Twenty-two other countries, including Germany and Canada, recalled it last week.

Valsartan is also used in other generic medicine but not all medicines containing the ingredient are being recalled by the FDA. The drug contains NDMA, which has been classified as a ‘probable human carcinogen’, which means it could cause cancer.

However, the FDA has cautioned cardiologists and other doctors to let their patients continue taking their medicine until they have a suitable replacement medicine, because valsartan is used to treat serious medical conditions.