Thousands of patients in the United States rely on a blood pressure medication called Valsartan to help manage their blood pressure. In July 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the drug could have been contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, a probable human carcinogen. After the FDA warning, three companies that sell Valsartan recalled thousands of bottles from the market.
How Did The Contamination Happen?
The FDA is still investigating how the cancer-causing carcinogen contaminated Valsartan, but a preliminary investigation indicates changes made in the manufacturing process contributed to contamination. The affected Valsartan is sold in the United States by three companies, Major Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., and Solco Healthcare. All three companies rely on a China-based manufacturer for production of the drug. According to Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “We have carefully assessed the valsartan-containing medications sold in the United States, and we’ve found that the valsartan sold by these specific companies does not meet our safety standards.”
NDMA Can Cause Cancer
NDMA is a yellow, odorless liquid that can form during manufacturing processes involving other chemicals called alkylamines. Alkylamines are naturally occurring compounds that can be found in prescription medications like Valsartan. Animal studies have shown NDMA exposure over several weeks can cause the development of cancer, specifically liver cancer.
What To Do If You Have Taken Valsartan?
If you were taking Valsartan for blood pressure management, you need to immediately visit your doctor. There are tests that can determine whether or not NDMA is present in your body, and if so, how much. NDMA exposure can lead to very serious medical conditions, and patients will need the help of reliable medical professionals and an experienced pharmaceutical lawyer to protect their health and their legal rights and to hold the manufacturers responsible.
Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products are free from defects. Patients that rely on Valsartan and have been diagnosed with liver cancer or another form of cancer deserve to hold the pharmaceutical companies responsible for their negligent carelessness. If you have taken Valsartan and developed cancer as a result of the contamination, contact Blizzard Law PLLC today. We offer free consultations and there is no upfront cost for working with us.