Valsartan is member of a class of drugs that include Losartan and Irbesartan. The medication was widely used for a number of conditions. It is a initial treatment for high blood pressure. The medication is also used to treat heart failure, although there is contradictory evidence regarding its efficacy. For people with type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure or albumin in the urine, valsartan is used to slow the worsening and the development of end-stage kidney disease. The drug was patented in 1990 and came into medical use in 1996. In 2016, there were in excess of eight million prescriptions of the drug filled.
Several generic drugs containing Valsartan are now available in the United States. As a generic medication, mediations containing Valsartan are widely manufactured overseas in such countries as China and India. Unfortunately, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has found that extensive amounts of the Valsartan drugs made by generic manufacturers contain nitrosamine impurities such as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA).
These chemicals may have the potential to cause cancer and/or serious liver damage, prompting widespread recalls published by the FDA. As recently as November 13, 2019, the FDA issued a warning letter to several manufactures of valsartan that their manufacturing processes were deficient. Multiple warning letters to various manufactures have been issued since July of 2018, when the FDA published the first recall.
Recent lawsuits claim that Valsartan drugs may have been tainted with potentially cancer causing impurities as far back as 2012. Not all Valsartan drugs are tainted or contaminated. Patients being treated with possibly tainted Valsartan medications should have received notice in or around July 2018, regarding whether the lots of Valsartan drugs involved in their treatment were involved in the pending recalls.
Exposure to NDMA can cause cancer of the stomach, liver, bladder, small Intestine, esophagus, prostate gland, kidney, or pancreas. Other types of cancer may also result from exposure, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia.
If you or a loved one was taking Valsartan drugs on the list of potentially tainted lots and have suffered injury, contact one of the experienced dangerous drug attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation.