In our rush to save money, we often end up causing ourselves far bigger problems. Here’s one example:
A common blood pressure drug has been recalled worldwide and production has stopped after it was found to contain a cancer-causing chemical.
The drug Valsartan, made in a factory in China, was recalled in 22 countries including the UK and the US earlier in July, but the warning is now worldwide.
Investigators found a chemical used in rocket fuel, called N-Nitrosodimethylamine, had contaminated the drug’s production at Zhejiang Huahai, a Chinese supplier which ships the medicine worldwide.
N-Nitrosodimethylamine is thought to be carcinogenic, meaning it could cause cancer in humans, so production of the pills has stopped.
China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday that the drug must not be used for diagnosis or treatment, and the pills have already been banned in the UK and US.
Experts say the contamination could date back as far as 2012, when the company changed its manufacturing process.
The main manufacturer in China is Zhejiang Huahai, which was founded in 1989 and listed on the Shanghai stock exchange in 2003, was one of the first Chinese companies to get drugs approved in the US market.
Let’s hear it for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration…
Overall, more than two-thirds of all active drug ingredients originate in China and India, industry experts estimate, with China accounting for the lion’s share.
The revelation that the problem with Valsartan likely dates back to changes in manufacturing processes at Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical six years ago suggests many patients could potentially have been exposed to cancer risk.
I’ve been taking Valsartan every day for well over ten years. At a rough guess, that’s around four thousand pills.