Rx From China, India Linked To Cancer; Millions of Pills Recalled

Check your meds for these common blood pressure drugs and heart meds

| Who are these companies, and why are we importing their poison pills? 

03/03/19

CBS NEWS – More blood pressure drugs are being recalled after being found to contain trace amounts of a potentially cancer-causing ingredient.

Since last summer, drug companies have recalled hundreds of lots of blood pressure and heart medication drugs after tests showed small levels of potentially cancer-causing impurities.

[Hundreds of lots would entail hundreds of thousands of packages and millions of doses, all prescribed to and paid for by Americas. From what we’ve been able to learn, none of the manufacturers have been banned from doing business in the U.S. – Editor]

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration weighed in on the recalls of multiple generic angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB, drugs, on Friday, saying the impurities may be the result of chemical reactions that occur in the drug-making process or from the reuse of materials, such as solvents.

“Over the past few months, the FDA has conducted a major investigation and has worked with drug companies to address the presence of impurities in these products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

“A drug recall is the most effective way to protect the public from a defective or potentially harmful product.” – FDA 

The latest such cases on Friday had two pharmaceutical firms expanding previous recalls. FDA: Recalled Rx Made In India May Cause Cancer

Torrent Pharmaceuticals widened its recall to include 114 additional lots.

Aurobindo Pharma added 38 lots of Valsartan and Amlodipine and Valsartan tablets to a recall that started with 80 lots at the end of December.

Click here for an updated list of Losartan products under recall. Doctors Saw “A Lot Of Cleavage” In Stripper’s Rx Sales Pitch: Testimony

The expanded recall comes a day after Camber Pharmaceuticals recalled 87 lots of Losartan Potassium, a prescription drug used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.

Prinston Pharmaceutical identified China’s Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals as the source of NDEA found in its hypertension medication recalled by the company last month.

Both Zhejiang and Hetero have received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over their manufacturing practices.

For a list on FDA drug recalls, click here. | Read more. 

SHOULD THE U.S. INSTITUTE A MORATORIUM ON ALL DRUG IMPORTS FROM INDIA AND CHINA? Comment below. 

Who are these companies, and why is the U.S. importing their poison pills? 

Aurobindo Pharma – India

“Aurobindo Pharma Limited is a pharmaceutical manufacturing company headquartered in HITEC City, Hyderabad, India. The company manufactures generic pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.” Source.

Camber Pharmaceuticals – India

“Camber is part of the Hetero Group of companies in Hyderabad, India.” Source. 

Torrent Pharmaceuticals – India

“Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is the flagship company of the Torrent Group. Based in the Indian city of Ahmedabad. It was promoted by U. N. Mehta, initially as Trinity Laboratories Ltd, and was later renamed Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

“Torrent Pharmaceuticals operates in more than 50 countries with over 1000 product registrations globally. Torrent Pharma is active in the therapeutic areas of Cardiovascular (CV), central nervous system (CNS), gastrointestinal, diabetology, anti-infective and pain management segments. It has also forayed into the therapeutic segments of nephrology and oncology while also strengthening its focus on gynecology and pediatric segments.” Source.

Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals – China 

“Founded in 1989, Huahai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is headquartered in Zhejiang, China. Source.

Can this story get any worse? Yes – much … 

FDA Official “anticipates more tainted drug lots will be found”

Liquid rocket fuel, pesticide ingredients detected in drugs taken by millions of Americans 

Feb 27, 2019

CNN – There’s no end in sight for one of the largest prescription drug recalls in recent memory.

The US Food and Drug Administration is continuing an investigation and recall of a class of drugs used by millions that began last summer, yet there’s still “more to find,” an agency director says.

Starting in July, separate lots of blood pressure medications from various companies were pulled from pharmacy shelves.

They’re known as angiotensin II receptor blockers or ARBs and contain either valsartan, losartan or irbesartan. High Blood Pressure Meds That Can Kill You

The reason? These blood pressure drugs contained impurities that pose a cancer risk to users.

“The investigation isn’t concluded,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told CNN this week.

Working with regulators from around the world, she said, she anticipates more tainted drug lots will be found.

When did the contamination begin?

Woodcock said the problem appeared to occur sometime after 2010, when a Chinese manufacturer made changes to its synthetic processes.

A spokeswoman for the agency later said that, based on available information in this ongoing investigation, the FDA estimates the first possible appearance of NDMA was in 2014.

Yet the FDA did not begin its recall of the drug until July 13, one week after 22 other nations had already pulled the plug on specific manufacturers of valsartan pills to safeguard patients.

In fact, two months earlier, European Union regulators had initiated a review following reports that valsartan-containing drugs imported from Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals were tainted by an impurity known as NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine).

Used to make liquid rocket fuel, NDMA is a byproduct from manufacturing some pesticides, yet it can also be unintentionally introduced through certain chemical reactions.

Nitrosamines are genotoxic, meaning they affect DNA replication and possibly cause cancer, Woodcock explained. Read more.

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