China recalls the use of cancer risk drug valsartan

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China’s health regulator on Monday directed all domestic medical institutions to cooperate with authorities to stop the use of the high blood pressure and heart failure treatment drug valsartan produced by local Pharmaceutical Company, Zhejiang Huahai.

The agency made this directive following recent speculations that the drug valsartan causes cancer.

You would recall that the US Food and Drug Administration had earlier recalled the use of valsartan in the United States.

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The bulk manufacturer of the drug said earlier this month that it was recalling the valsartan drug sold in the United States after the European Medicines Agency found that it was tainted with an impurity linked to cancer.

According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, the recalled drug commonly used to treat patients with high blood pressure, should not be used for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

The Chinese health regulator also said there were six local companies that used valsartan made by Huahai. Five of these companies had products on the market and have since issued recalls, it added.

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However, Huahai on Monday said its other products did not contain the impurity known as NDMA, which is classified as a probable human carcinogen, and that it would continue to improve its systems to prevent similar incidents from happening.

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