If you take daily medication to regulate your high blood pressure, you may want to check the FDA’s most recent recall list. Dozens of common blood pressure drugs have been voluntarily recalled since last July, after the FDA discovered possible human carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in a series of drug products containing valsartan.
Part of a drug category known as angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs, chemical compounds like valsartan and losartan serve to lower a patient’s high blood pressure. By themselves, these compounds are incredibly useful for keeping constricted blood vessels open, and they are generally considered to be safe for daily adult use.
In spite of this, the recalls have only continued to roll in for blood pressure medications containing ARBs, as many batches have been contaminated by NDMA and related carcinogens. If you or a loved one currently takes a blood pressure drug that is under recall, the FDA urges that you consult with a doctor immediately.
Blood Pressure Drug Recalls and Nitrosamines
It’s believed that two overseas factories – specifically, Hetero Labs in India and Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals in China – are responsible for introducing dangerous carcinogens into their ARB compounds. From there, the ARBs were sold to American pharmaceutical manufacturers, who in turn released them to the American public.
Tellingly, all of the carcinogens also belong to the same drug class: A group of deadly cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines. It’s currently unknown why so many ARB batches from overseas factories have been contaminated by nitrosamines, and the FDA is still investigating the issue. However, some experts think it could be a fundamental flaw in the manufacturing process for ARB-class compounds, occurring only when certain solvents are re-used.
Protect Yourself from Defective Drugs
While the risk of developing cancer from trace nitrosamines is relatively small, there’s ultimately no way to tell what long-term effects these cancer-causing agents could have. It’s estimated that more than 100 million Americans will take some form of blood pressure medication during their lifetimes, and that number will only grow as the average age increases. This means thousands of American families could be at risk, likely because of carelessness in drug manufacturing.
At Brown & Barron, LLC, we are well-versed in litigating defective drug cases, and discovering exactly what went wrong during the manufacturing process. Dangerous medical devices and medications cause thousands of deaths and injuries each year, and we’re committed to seeking justice on behalf of the victims and their families. With more than 100 trials serving as lead counsel, our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers can offer the impassioned and effective representation you need.