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More than a dozen countries around the world are taking steps to restrict or ban sales of Zantac and other heartburn medicines containing high levels of a carcinogen, underscoring mounting concern about the quality of the global pharmaceutical supply chain.

Over the past three days, Switzerland, Cyprus, and Egypt became the latest to ban all such medicines after traces of NDMA were detected. The impurity is an organic chemical that was once used to make rocket fuel and is an unintended byproduct of certain chemical reactions. The World Health Organization classified NDMA as a possible carcinogen to humans.

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