MAY CAUSE CANCER: Some drugs containing valsartan recalled


An unexpected impurity has been found in the active ingredient used to make some valsartan medicines.

The alert comes after the watchdog issued a recall last week (July 6) for seven batches of valsartan-containing medicines made by Accord Healthcare and Dexcel Pharma Ltd, after an impurity was identified in their manufacturing process which "may have carcinogenic potential".

You may be given a different valsartan medicine (or an alternative treatment) when you go for your next prescription.

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According to the Ministry, the circular was released and addressed to all directors of the medical districts, directors of public and private hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and assistant pharmacists, directors of government and private pharmacies. Pharmacies are therefore instructed to remove the affected medications from their stock and quarantine them.

The circular includes a list of affected products, that have been registered with the Drug department of MOHAP.

National authorities are contacting pharmacists with information on the medicines to be recalled.

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She continues, explaining that patients should go to the pharmacy and see "if the drugs they're taking are indeed the affected, recalled valsartan products".


While the review is underway, national authorities across the European Union are recalling medicines containing valsartan supplied by Zhejiang Huahai.

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The valsartan active ingredient from the facility in China has been used by various pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce valsartan-containing medications in Europe, some of which are available on-island. Diovan is widely used to treat hypertension and all its related pharmaceutical products in the UAE and the rest of the world are safe to use.