A well-known drug used to treat hypertension and heart failure has recently been recalled by the Food and Drug Administration citing the discovery of a cancer-causing ingredient. Valsartan, which is the generic name for Diovan, has been prescribed around the world, with the most recent recall affecting 20 European nations, as well as the U.S. and Canada.
The recalled product was manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals of Linhai, China, and Zhejiang Tianyu Pharmaceuticals of Taizhou, China. Investigators discovered the presence of a known cancer-causing ingredient called nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA for short. During the investigation, it was also discovered that a third manufacturer, Hetero Labs Limited, in India, not only distributed products that contained the dangerous ingredient, but that tests also showed higher amounts of NDMA in products from that lab. The Indian Lab distributed as Camber Pharmaceuticals. This discovery has expanded the Valsartan recall significantly in that drugs produced by Camber Pharmaceuticals may also be repackaged and sold under other names. The investigation is ongoing, and the recall is expected to expand even further.
The European Medicines Agency claims they have found no “immediate risk to patients,” while its U.S. equivalent, the Food and Drug Administration, has made no statement.
Any patient who has been negatively affected by the consumption of any recalled prescription medication should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Often in these types of situations, a pharmaceutical corporation will be ordered to set aside a specific fund to compensate injured parties. An attorney can assist you in making sure that you are on a claims register, in addition to helping obtain any necessary documentation to prove your case.