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January brings news of more medication recalls

For anybody taking prescription blood pressure medication these days, there’s more bad news regarding recalls. Now, valsartan medications made by Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc. are being voluntarily recalled.

We recently discussed the massive recalls that have been troubling patients who rely on various forms of valsartan. Valsartan is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs that help relax a patient’s blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily throughout the patient’s body, reducing the intensity at which a patient’s heart has to work and their overall blood pressure.

Valsartan is a common component in many different generic and nongeneric blood pressure medications, manufactured by different drug companies. Some of the companies affected by the recall include Teva Pharmaceuticals, Mylan, Accord Healthcare and Novartis. The recall list has been steadily growing since last August.

The recall started in the United States but has now spread worldwide due to concerns of a contaminant in the supply that likely got mixed in somehow during manufacturing. The contaminant is the chemical called N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), which is classified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a probable human carcinogen.

It’s important to note that the trouble is with the presence of NDEA, not the drug itself. Once the drug companies are able to restore production without contamination, patients should feel safe to use the product again. It’s also worth noting that there are no reports — yet — of anyone being harmed by the contaminated drugs, although that’s likely something that many patients wouldn’t know until they develop symptoms of cancer months or years down the road.

Contaminated products are just one of the many hazards that patients face when they take medication. Many drugs are manufactured overseas, and the quality controls in some overseas operations can be questionable. However, patients need to remember that the drug companies bear the ultimate responsibility for putting a safe product on the market.

If you’ve been victimized by a defective drug — whether it was the drug itself that caused your injuries or some contamination from another source — find out more about your right to compensation.


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