Europe recalls generic heart drug made in China on cancer fears

The Health Products Regulatory Authority said that patients taking some Valsartan medicines should consult their doctor or pharmacist to discuss their treatment

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has urged pharmacies in the United Kingdom to recall all batches of valsartan medicines as a precaution amid fears that an impurity compromised the manufacturing process at a facility in China.

The ministry added that that medication was used to threat blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. It is also sometimes prescribed after a heart attack.

The impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) that has been found is classified as a probable carcinogen. Not all valsartan medicines are affected by the recall.

A review underway by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and national agencies focused on medicines containing valsartan manufactured by China's Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, the medicines agency said.

The MHRA said the European Medicines Agency and other EU regulators were working together to investigate the extent of the issue. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that patients should be switched to supplies made by other companies. The medicines are being recalled as a precaution after information emerged that an impurity. "We are engaging with healthcare professionals to manage this situation".

"Unless another warning is issued, the Medicines Authority and the SPH are adhering to directions given by the EMA and Health Products Regulatory Authority that patients shouldn't stop using this medication haphazardly". The health risk of abruptly discontinuing this medicine is higher than any potential risk presented by the impurity.

"If you are concerned, please speak to your GP, pharmacist or other healthcare professional".

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