Valsartan is a popular high blood pressure medication, originally marketed under the name Diovan. Manufacturers have also marketed valsartan under brand names Exforge, Entresto, Actavis, and Prexxartan. Physicians prescribe valsartan to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure; it is an angiotensin II receptor blocker. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall on July 13th, 2018 of more than 50 valsartan-containing drugs due to the presence of a known carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
If a doctor prescribed you or a loved one a drug containing valsartan and you experienced significant health complications, contact us today for a free case evaluation in Mobile, Alabama. You could be a victim of a serious drug defect that may be causing cancer in unsuspecting patients. If so, you and your family could be eligible for financial compensation from the at-fault drug manufacturer.
What Long & Long Know About the Valsartan Recall
Long & Long take the health and safety of their community seriously. They’ve been on top of the evolving news on valsartan recalls, lab tests, and lawsuits from the beginning. After the announcement of the initial recall, the FDA has expanded the recall eight times in light of an ongoing investigation. According to the available information so far, the presence of NDMA in certain valsartan-containing drugs from a few manufacturers could cause cancer in patients. The ongoing recall currently involves dozens of products from the following companies:
- A-S Medication Solutions LLC
- Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc.
- Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- H J Harkins Company Inc. dba Pharma Pac
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals
- NuCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Preferred Pharmaceuticals
- Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc.
- Proficient Rx LP
- RemedyRepack Inc.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
- Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited
The products involved in the recall, as per the FDA, “unexpectedly” contain the ingredient NDMA, which is a chemical researchers have connected to the development of cancer in lab rat studies. Investigators believe the NDMA came from a specific process a Chinese drug manufacturing company used to create the valsartan. If you or a loved one has been taking valsartan products from any of the above-listed companies, you could potentially be at risk for cancer. To learn more, contact our Mobile drug injury lawyers today.
Health Complications Connected to Valsartan
Patients around the world taking contaminated valsartan with NDMA could suffer serious and fatal side effects of exposure to this chemical. Ingestion of NDMA could cause liver damage, tumors, and cancers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Potential symptoms of NDMA overexposure in humans can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, fever, jaundice, enlarged liver, and reduced function of the kidneys, liver, and lungs.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) “reasonably anticipates” that NDMA is a human carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer in humans. The DHHS came to this conclusion after several studies found animal NDMA exposure caused tumors to form in the liver, kidneys, respiratory tract, and blood vessels. Researchers have been documenting the potential carcinogenic properties of NDMA since 1998.
Investigations into the amount of NDMA present in certain valsartan products are ongoing. So far, the FDA has announced that the levels of NDMA in the drugs are substantial – meaning they exceed the 96 nanograms of the chemical a human can safely ingest per day. Ingesting NDMA at the “safe amount” every day for a lifetime would only create a one in 100,000 chance of developing cancer. By contrast, increasing that amount to 320 milligrams of NDMA-containing valsartan, however, and the risk of cancer jumps to one in 8,000 after just four years. This fact is what sparked the manufacturers to recall contaminated drugs.
How to File a Valsartan Lawsuit
In mid-August 2018, plaintiffs in Canada and the South District of New York (SDNY) filed the first class actions against defective valsartan drug manufacturers. Long & Long is currently evaluating potential cases from a personal injury standpoint. We’re asking anyone who took valsartan products from 2012 to the present and received a diagnosis for liver cancer, bladder cancer, or kidney cancer to contact us. We are open to evaluating other types of cancer as well. If this sounds like you or a loved one, call (251) 432-2277 for a free consultation now.