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Chinese firm recalls heart drug as US, EU raise concerns

AFP  |  Shanghai 

The Chinese manufacturer of a widely used blood pressure medication said it had launched a global recall after US and European regulators warned of contamination by a cancer-causing impurity.

(EMA) first issued an alert on July 5 over supplies of the active ingredient valsartan produced by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Company, based in and listed on Shanghai's stock exchange.

The (FDA) issued a similar notice about a week later.

Both have warned of the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is believed to potentially cause through long-term use.

In a series of pronouncements over the past week, Huahai said last Friday that it had moved to suspend supply and had begun a recall.

Valsartan is a generic drug mainly used for treatment of and

The EMA has said there is "no immediate risk and patients taking valsartan are advised not to stop their treatments" unless advised by doctors.

Several US companies had already begun voluntarily recalling products containing Huahai's valsartan after the FDA statement.

The FDA said not all products containing valsartan were being recalled in the

"The presence of NDMA was unexpected and is thought to be related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured," it said.

Both the FDA and EMA are further investigating.

Huahai's stock has dropped more than 10 per cent since the warnings first emerged.

The company did not answer AFP calls seeking comment.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 18 2018. 17:50 IST