More blood pressure pills recalled carcinogenic fears: the fourth round of Losartan was withdrawn from the US market when global drug shortages lasted for nearly a year
- Drugs produced in China and India last summer that were shipped worldwide were contaminated with the carcinogens NMBA, NMDA and NDEA
- The scandal was kept under wraps for a year before the health authorities finally acknowledged the contamination
- Affected were valsartan, irbesartan and losartan, some of the most commonly used blood pressure medicines
- More than two million people were exposed, half of them in the US
- On Thursday, Torrent Pharmaceuticals remembered more losartan
A fourth round of blood pressure pills was recalled because of fears that they might contain carcinogens.
The move is part of a continuing struggle to discard medicines produced in China and India and distributed throughout the world that have been contaminated with NMBA, NMDA and NDEA – all potentially cancer-causing chemicals.
The scandal was kept under wraps for over a year before health officials finally acknowledged the contamination – and more than two million people were exposed.
Following the collapse, this led to a worldwide shortage of the most commonly used blood pressure medicines – valsartan, irbesartan, and losartan – that still drag on nearly a year later.
On Thursday, Torrent Pharmaceuticals recalled 36 lots of losartan potassium tablets and 68 lots of losartan potassium / hydrochlorothiazide tablets for alleged NMBA contamination.
The worldwide recall of medicines has been dragging on for months and more were added on Thursday
Two weeks ago, the US Food and Drug Administration has suggested that Americans continue to take their potentially contaminated pills as replacement pills are unlikely soon.
And just like that, if you imagine the last callback.
The topic has also hit Europe hard.
European regulators were the first to detect pollution in the spring of 2018 and began to take action to shut down the contested supply. In the summer of 2018, the FDA followed.
As a result, generic companies such as Mylan NV, Teva Pharmaceutical and Sandoz have withdrawn products from Novartis that contain the contaminated ingredients.
Now, it is announced that one year before taking action, the FDA inspector raised concerns about contaminants and quality controls at China's Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals Co., with the authorities setting aside the concerns in Bloomberg's view.
Over the course of months of research, more and more medicines have been added to the list of contaminated medicines.
In January, the FDA confirmed that another carcinogenic toxin, N-nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA), had been identified in 87 lots of losartan potassium pills in India.
The control for NDEA, NDMA and NMBA is complicated.
They seem to be a by-product of chemical interactions, though it is not clear which.
Regulators, however, have been forced to find an alternative to fill the void for the growing number of patients requiring angiotensin II receptor blockers or ARBs to treat hypertension.