DRAP Issues Recall Alert for 9 Manufacturers of VALSARTAN
On July 12th the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan issued a recall alert that was given as per the guidelines mentioned by letter of EMA (European Medicines Agency). It stated that Valsartan produced by 9 pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan contained carcinogenic or cancer-causing raw materials. These materials are being imported from the pharmaceutical raw material manufacturer M/S Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd, China.
Getz Pharma’s Cova, Covam, and Cova-H are Valsartan brands which have been marked as that are safe by PDUC and meets the standards set by the WHO guidelines. They use Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients that come from suppliers who follow the secure measures set by the WHO. Getz company facility has also been approved by WHO Geneva, along with member Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S). It is currently working in 22 countries all over the world.
The 9 pharmacies that have been asked to recall high blood pressure medicines include:
- M/s Amarant Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd
- M/s Efroze Chemical Industries
- M/s High-Q Pharmaceuticals
- M/s Pharm Evo (Pvt) Ltd
- M/s Safe Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd
- M/s Sami Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Ltd
- M/s Tabros Pharma (Pvt) Ltd
- M/s Searle Pharmaceuticals
- M/s Genetics Pharmaceuticals
Valsartan – What Is It?
Valsartan is a medicine used to control hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Stats collected from Pakistan Medical Association & National Health Survey of 2011 show that 33% of Pakistani population is affected by hypertension, out of which 19% are people who are 15 years or above. Of course, as time has passed, this number has only increased significantly leading to more people being affected by this disease.
This means that somewhere around 40% and above population is taking Valsartan daily! The medicine is also used by heart patients to reduce complications caused by heart conditions generated because of high blood pressure.
It’s worth reminding that in 2012 around 200 people died due to taking contaminated medicine from PIC pharmacy. Therefore, if you are a consumer of Valsartan, it would be best to meet your health care professional and consult with them regarding the medicine and what measures need to be taken in order to lessen the impact of the dangerous Valsartan consumed already.