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After learning an ingredient used to make a widely prescribed heart drug contained a substance linked to cancer, the Food and Drug Administration is now testing all drugs in that class for traces of the toxic material.

The probe into angiotensin II receptor blockers is part of a widening investigation into a mystery over an impurity known as NDMA, which was found last month in generic valsartan blood pressure pills made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical. NDMA, which is considered a possible carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, is an organic chemical once used to make rocket fuel and is an unintended by-product of certain chemical reactions.

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  • My husband has been on this drug for 9 years he is struggling with a bad heart and cancer the heart problems occurred recently to also find cancer….I believe this drug has an affect on my husband’s current situation and needs to be removed from the market

  • This article should have generated some kind of Cognitive Dissonance. The FDA claimed that importing drugs for consumers was “dangerous” and that they were protecting Americans, by refusing to allow even Canadian drugs to be imported. Many American pharmaceuticals are made in factories oversees. Factories were shot down in China, due to impurities, filth, and corruption. There have also been issues in India. In Fact many pharmaceuticals sold in the US are made in dirty, unregulated factories in other countries. One popular and expensive drug was found to contain wall board particles as fillers. There were also issues with Generics, made as cheap as possible overseas, and sold to Americans. These low grade, poorly manufactured, contaminated, and ineffective drugs, were found all through the US supply chain.
    Here in Post Fact America, most Physicians choose to remain unaware of how these drugs affected their patients. They chose not to record the side effects, hospitalizations and even suicides caused by these cheaply manufactured drugs, since they were low income people, on Medicaid or Medicare.
    Most of the contaminants, like the wallboard dust, were relatively inert, unfortunately this one is killing people. The FDA took a long time to find this, waiting until the deaths showed up in the limited C.M.S data. This indicates that they wait until after the fact, years after the fact to test these drugs. The FDA expects these profitable unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies to monitor their own activities. There won’t be any criminal charges here either. Industry insiders decided that even killing people, and selling dangerous contaminated drugs, over years, is alright. It is just business. This is just one of the very few that we have heard about. Most incidents were too diffuse to count or consider a problem.

    • Hi, TW, thanks for your question. We’ve updated the story to make it “As of now, they noted that more than half of all valsartan medicines that are on the market are being recalled.” based on the FDA statement.
      Elizabeth Cooney
      STAT Plus

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