Prescription drugs that treat high blood pressure and other serious medical conditions may be putting patients taking them at risk for developing cancer.
Valsartan is the generic name of an active ingredient in prescription drugs given to patients to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It is included in drugs with brand names such as Exforge, Entresto and Diovan. Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration issued warnings regarding medicine containing valsartan as it found evidence of a very dangerous drug contamination.
FDA Recalls over Valsartan Contamination
The FDA is the federal government agency that protects the public from unsafe medicines and defective medical devices. One way it does this is by issuing recalls of dangerous consumer products and drugs. In July 2018, the FDA issued a recall of certain drugs containing valsartan.
The FDA took this action as trace amounts of a chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was found in some batches of valsartan. NDMA is a dangerous chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled it as a possible cause for cancer in humans.
In September 2018, the FDA found evidence of valsartan contamination by another suspected human carcinogen. The second dangerous impurity found in valsartan is called N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). NDEA has primarily been used in un-related industrial applications – in the production of rocket fuel, for example.
The initial recall was for prescription drugs including valsartan from one pharmaceutical company. Subsequent recalls now encompass valsartan products from multiple drug companies.
Recommendations for Patients Taking Valsartan Drugs
The recalled products and their manufacturers are listed on the FDA website. The FDA issued several recommendations to the general public when issuing its valsartan recalls for possible carcinogenic contamination:
· Those taking valsartan drugs for serious medical conditions should continue taking it until they have a safe replacement prescription medicine
· Patients taking drugs with valsartan should look at the bottle for the drug name and manufacturer. If this information is not on the label, they should contact the pharmacy from which obtained the drug.
· Patients should contact their doctor if their valsartan drug is one that has been recalled
Consumers trust drug companies to manufacture safe products. And that’s why Gray, Ritter & Graham is investigating possible claims against drug companies that make products containing valsartan.
The firm has a background in protecting consumers against defective drugs. One example is the firm’s settlement on behalf of Missouri consumers in the nation’s first Vioxx consumer fraud class action lawsuit.
When pharmaceutical companies or other manufacturers make dangerous products of any kind that physically or economically harm the public, they can be held accountable by attorneys who have experience in bringing product liability lawsuits.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog October 8, 2018