Global recall of heart drug due to potential carcinogen contamination

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This recall is a precautionary measure taken by the Ministry following the report issued by the European Medicines Agency indicating the detection of a contamination of the active ingredient with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that might lead to cancer.

The valsartan active ingredient from the facility in China has been used by various pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce valsartan-containing medications in Europe, some of which are available on-island.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a recall yesterday (July 10) of all batches of valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide 160/12.5mg film-coated tablets - used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions - made by Accord Healthcare.

If you have any questions about your treatment, speak to your pharmacist who can tell you if your medicine is being recalled.

According to Health Canada recommendations, patients that take that drug should talk with their pharmacists to know if their medicine was recalled.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working with pharmacies to recall the affected medicines but have also stated the importance of patients continuing their treatment but to seek advice from a healthcare professional immediately. MOHAP is routinely doing quality checks through testing random samples to ensure quality of medicines in the country through the quality control of laboratory at the Dubai Science Park. This came in response to recent inaccurate news reports on social media covering the supposed withdrawal of Diovan. Doctors advised that people should not stop taking medicine without first consulting a professional specialist.

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