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Medicines containing ‘Valsartan’ to be recalled; may cause cancer

Medicines containing ‘Valsartan’ to be recalled; may cause cancer

Egypt’s Pharmacists’ Syndicate received a letter from pharmaceutical company Eipico, reporting that the company has addressed all branches to recall medications that contain the heart drug ‘Valsartan’. The drug was previously used for treating high blood pressure, until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that it may lead to cancer.

Eipico wrote in its letter that the pharmacies will be compensated for losses incurred by the recall.

In July, the Central Department of Pharmaceutical Affairs of the Health Ministry recalled 14 Valsartan-containing medications, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.

The Health Ministry asked manufacturers of the drug to freeze their stocks of medicine from Egyptian markets, and to withdraw all that has been distributed to the pharmacies.

“This recall is due to an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which was found in the recalled products. However, not all products containing Valsartan are being recalled,” FDA says.

“The NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on results from laboratory tests. The presence of NDMA was unexpected and is thought to be related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured, according to the FDA.

The Chairman of the Pharmacists’...

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