The People's Perspective on Medicine

Valsartan Blood Pressure Pills Recalled over Cancer Concerns

Has your doctor prescribed valsartan blood pressure pills to control hypertension? You may want to check to make sure your specific medicine has not been recalled.
BP pulse cuff hypertension

This is scary. Please pay attention. Valsartan (Diovan) is a popular blood pressure and heart medication. According to our calculations, over 16 million prescriptions are dispensed annually. That means that millions of people take this drug daily. A new warning from the FDA is alerting physicians and patients of a recall of certain generic valsartan blood pressure pills and heart drugs. That’s because of fears there might be a carcinogenic impurity in some batches of this widely distributed drug.

Early Danger Signs with Valsartan Blood Pressure Pills:

We regularly monitor international drug recalls. We suspected that there might be a problem with certain batches of generic valsartan blood pressure pills on July 5, 2018. That’s when the European Medicines Agency (EMA) began raising warning flags about Chinese-made valsartan.

The Zhejiang HuaHai Pharmaceutical company in Linhai, China had apparently sold contaminated valsartan to a number of drug manufacturers. China now supplies the world with many active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Drug companies in many other countries buy the these APIs, add “inactive” ingredients like binders and fillers and create finished pills. They are then shipped all over the world.

Not long after the European recall, regulators in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan also issued a recall. We were watching and waiting to see what the FDA would do.

NDMA and Cancer:

Regulators became aware that an impurity had been introduced during the manufacture of valsartan. That chemical was N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA. The EMA reported:

“NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on results from laboratory tests. The presence of NDMA was unexpected and is thought to be related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured.”

Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition (March 28, 2014) noted that NDMA has “been shown to be carcinogenic in a variety of laboratory animals…” The investigators go on to present their research on people:

“The present study examined the association between dietary NDMA intake and CRC [colorectal cancer] risk in 1760 cases and 2481 controls…Our findings are broadly in agreement with those reported by prospective studies showing a positive association between increased intake of NDMA and CRC occurrence.”

NDMA belongs to a family of chemicals called nitrosamines. They are considered significant carcinogens. The compound can be created unintentionally during chemical manufacturing. It can also show up during the synthesis of some pesticides. It’s not the kind of chemical you want in your medicine.

What About Valsartan Blood Pressure Pills in the U.S.?

On July 5, 2018, the European Medicines Agency announced its concerns about some of the generic valsartan medicines being sold across Europe. By the next day it was announced that 22 countries were recalling certain generic valsartan blood pressure pills. Some contained just valsartan. Others had the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) as an added ingredient. The manufacturers involved included Dexcel Pharma and Accord Healthcare.

Novartis, the original developer of valsartan (Diovan), told CNN on July 6 that:

“Sandoz valsartan and valsartan/HCT film-coated tablets are being recalled since they ‘do not meet our high quality standards.'”

“Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff said that products sold in the United States are not affected by this recall. The US Food and Drug Administration says it is looking to see whether it ‘has any information to share at this time’ and directed questions to the manufacturer, as it is ‘the best source of information about their product.'”

We weren’t convinced that this problem was confined to Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Chinese companies supply active pharmaceutical ingredients to generic drug makers in many other countries. We wondered whether North America might also be exposed. Our concerns increased when Health Canada recalled certain valsartan blood pressure pills on July 10, 2018.

Radio Canada International reported that some of the affected products involved in the Health Canada recall included TEVA, ACT, SANDOZ, SANIS, PRO DOC LIMITEE and SIVEM.

The FDA Takes Action!

Finally, on July 13, 2018, the FDA announced

“a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan, used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.”

The FDA list of recalled products included:

Medicine                                                                              Company

Valsartan                                                                       Major Pharmaceuticals

Valsartan                                                                       Solco Healthcare

Valsartan                                                              Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)                Solco Healthcare

Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)        Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

The FDA added this statement:

“The FDA is committed to maintaining our gold standard for safety and efficacy. That includes our efforts to ensure the quality of drugs and the safe manner in which they’re manufactured,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

“When we identify lapses in the quality of drugs and problems with their manufacturing that have the potential to create risks to patients, we’re committed to taking swift action to alert the public and help facilitate the removal of the products from the market. As we seek the removal of certain drug products today, our drug shortages team is also working hard to ensure patients’ therapeutic needs are met in the United States with an adequate supply of unaffected medications.”

People’s Pharmacy Perspective:

We wish the FDA had discovered the NDMA contamination before the European regulators did. Instead, we were over a week behind them. We wonder if the FDA would have discovered the contamination on its own.

Which brings us to the whole question of Chinese drug manufacturing. As far as we can tell, there has been no announcement about tariffs on medicines made in China or India. Most Americans would be amazed to learn that a huge number of our over-the-counter and prescription medicines are made in those two countries.

Were Chinese pharmaceutical companies to stop sending ingredients directly or indirectly to the U.S., we would face a health crisis of epic proportions. Drug shortages would become critical very quickly.

It is almost impossible to tell where the ingredients in your pills are manufactured. There is no country of origin information on the label.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd is an Israeli drug company. We have no idea where the valsartan blood pressure pills they sell in the U.S. are made. But we suspect the company obtained its valsartan ingredient from the Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical.

Solco Healthcare U.S. is located in Cranberry, NJ. It describes itself as an industry leader in marketing and distributing generic pharmaceuticals. Solco is owned by Prinston Pharmaceutical, Inc (a subsidiary of Zhejiang Huahua) and by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical of China.

This is not the first time we have experienced problems with Chinese made raw ingredients. Perhaps you have forgotten the heparin scandal. Here is a link to remind you.

FDA On The Hot Seat Over Heparin Horror

Final Words:

Do NOT stop taking your valsartan suddenly, even if it is on the suspect list. Do contact your physician and your pharmacist if you are taking one of the valsartan high blood pressure pills listed by the FDA. Hopefully your pharmacist will be able to obtain valsartan that has not been contaminated with NDMA.

If shortages of valsartan develop, your doctor could prescribe another ARB such as losartan, olmesartan or telmisartan. You can learn more about these drugs and their side effects at this link.

Share your thoughts on the valsartan recalls in the comment section below.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Valsartan should be recalled. I get mine from the V.A. I have been taking Valsartan for years, and recently the V.A. had me submit to an MRI with no explanation. and they will not tell me the results! I suspect they do not want me to know the results.

I am furious about this. My 23 year old son has to take the BP medicine Lorsartan because of a congenital heart defect. He recently received a letter from his pharmacy asking him to bring back his medication because of possible contamination. He is 23 and already dealing with a heart defect that he didn’t ask for but now we have to be worried about him developing cancer???? What is wrong with the pharmaceutical industry? Have they sold out the care for the consumer to the highest bidder? I am not one to complain but I want this changed. Reading who is on the committee that oversees the FDA does not give me any hope that anything will be done. They have all been noticeably silent about these recalls.

My Losartan comes from the VA pharmacy.
I have had no notice from them.
Have taken it for years.

I startied taking Diovan in 2004, when the generic valsartan came out. I was changed over to it because it was cheaper. In 2012 I had a large rectal precanerous mass removed. Thank God for colonoscopy.

How is it possible that the replacement, Losartan, or LO SARTAN, in Hebrew means “No Cancer” .. not kidding. Check it out with your favorite Israeli friend. mk

I am quite surprised with the confusing information provided by Norvatis and Sandoz about Sandoz Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).

Novartis, the original developer of valsartan (Diovan), told CNN on July 6 that:

“Sandoz valsartan and valsartan/HCT film-coated tablets are being recalled since they ‘do not meet our high quality standards.’”

Sandoz CA however expressed on Jul 16, 2018 that:
Sandoz Canada is recalling batches of Sandoz Valsartan Film-coated tablets at the pharmacist and wholesaler levels. Please note that the recall does not affect Sandoz Valsartan HCT in Canada or any Novartis Pharmaceuticals (Novartis) products containing valsartan, namely Diovan®, Diovan/HCT® and Entresto®. A different API source is used for the above products.”


So, are Sandoz Valsatan produced in Canada safe for consumption? Is the recall just a formality or is it substandard in other ways but without carcinogenic risk? An imbroglio indeed!

I am trying to find effects of NDMA ingestion. My mother (91) has itchiness (scalp and arms) redness and blotches (hands and neck) especially in the evening. She also had a period where her blood got very thin for no reason. Thrombocytopenia is on the list of effects. Since she was changed to Losartin, she seems to be getting better. Her blood thickness returned to normal. Is there a list of symptoms we can access?

I first started using Diovan many years ago and then my doctor switched me over to Valsartan/HCTZ. In that allotted time I have had cancer twice. Wonder if there is a link and if there will be a class action suit here in the states.

My father was taking Valsartan that was on the recall list and, of course, we were conserned of the cancer risks. His physician took him off the Valsartan and started him on Olmesartan and within 2 weeks developed a massive brain bleed because his blood pressures were NOT controlled on the new medication!!!!

The ER trauma nurse told us that she has seen several other episodes in other patients in the last two weeks!!! PLEASE, if you or your loved one was put on a different medication because of the Valsartan recall, monitor their blood pressure closely, do NOT let them exert themselves and bring them to the ER if any signs of dizziness, forgetfullness, headache, trouble breathing, fatigue, or any behavior out of the ordinary occurs!!!!

Don’t put it off, don’t second guess yourself, don’t “wait and see”. Monitor their blood pressures closely and often. I pray this doesnt happen to someone else’s loved one.

My husband was taking this medicine VALSARTAN/HYDROCHLOROTHIA 160/25MG. His blood pressure was up and down, more up. He did not feel good. It affected his sleep. He had many other symptoms. I need to know who should we talk to. Please advise.

I called up Solco about the Valsartan. My bottle is on the recall list with NDC 43547-370-09.

But more importantly after talking with the customer representative, I found that this contamination has been going on for AT LEAST 2 YEARS. My relative also has a recalled bottle. His recalled bottle has NDC 43547-370-09 dated expiration of 05/07/16. THAT IS 2 YEARS AGO. PLEASE BE AWARE.

Also the Solco customer rep wanted us to send back the bottles with unused pills to the company. I hesitate to do so, as the bottles are proof possibly need for any future class action suit.

I’ve taken Valsartan for years, first Diovan then switched to Valsartan. My doctor switched me to Losartan 50 mg. with instructions to keep check on my bp at home. As for cancer, I already have Polycythemia Vera but I’ve had it for 6 years. I didn’t realize so many of our medicines come from other countries. If they wanted to eradicate us, they could do it thru our meds! Scary thought, why was our FDA not catch this? THAT is scary! You all do a great job! Keep up the good work!

Valsartan Tablets 320mg i been taking for 5 years or more and I had colon cancer in June 2017. Where do I sign up for the class action suit, in the USA?

Dear People’s Pharmacy,
My 92 year old mother, who has always been very healthy, is being evaluated for a breast lump. Last week her provider changed her Valsartan (by Solco) to Losartan. She has been on the Valsartan for a few years. If she is diagnosed with cancer, she has already decided she does not want to be treated. I am her health care proxy and will honor her wishes, however I am distressed and I would like to know what resources I have for follow up.

DEE – write the Senate committee that oversees the FDA. It is called the:

US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
428 Senate Dirksen Office Building
Washington DC 20510

It is chaired by Lamar Alexander. Elizabeth Warren, Rand Paul, Orin Hatch, and Bernie Sanders also sit on this committee.

How ridiculous is it that they say to not stop taking a medicine that is a carcinogenic. What are they going for here, Darwinism. In case you don’t know what that is, it is survival of the fittest.

I am astounded that we feel it is ok to tell people to get CANCER. What is next, tell the poor elderly to go to the ER and get screened for cancer, yeah sure they have the money for that… Why don’t we just tell them to go to Chernobyl and grow some vegetables and eat them? #Darwinismsucks

I think it is disgraceful that drug companies can do this. Our president is not worried about this but is worried about kneeing for the national anthem in football games. What are we going to do about this, keep letting the elderly spend their hard earned retirement on something they have to just throw away or get CANCER!!!!!

They should be reimbursed to the amount of 2 times what they spent for this drug that is supposed to be helpful but is actually killing them. So WRONG!!!!!!! It is abysmal that we are letting these issues come to the forefront of our culture. The elderly need that money for paying their bills at the nursing homes and assisted living facilities. #abysmal

I want to know what this company is going to do about reimbursing all people who have bought this medicine. Most of the people taking this are elderly and every dollar counts for them. This is not acceptable that they bought these and do not get reimbursed.

Where can I find a list of manufacturers with recalled valsartan. I have valsartan made by Camber and Alembic. Have these been recalled?

I went to Walgreens pharmacy (Titusville FL). I was told that they had been instructed to take affected lots off their shelves and send them back to their warehouse.

But they did not receive any further instructions. They did not have any instructions for the customers, nor were giving out any replacements.

I’ve been on Valsartan HCTZ for years & now have liver disease. Pharmacy called telling me of the recall & gave me a new refill for this drug, advising me to call Solco which I did. Solco asked for the NDC # on the script, and I was told this new batch was “Safe”. Left a message with my PCP’s office asking for a new RX for a different comparable drug.

Wow, I just found out about this today (July 20) when following up on a completely unrelated issue with a different prescription. Walgreens referred me to the manufacturer (Solco). Their office is already closed so I’m out of luck until Monday. Since I’ve been ingesting this carcinogen for years now, a few more days probably won’t make a lot of difference, eh?

Ironically, I am very careful to purchase only products sourced in the US for my dog (and able to confirm the source of all ingredients before purchasing). But, when it comes to my own health and prescription coverage, my PBM Express Scripts limits my choices and any possibility of controlling the source of my medications. So, I can exercise and eat properly and do all that other good stuff. But, if I need a medication, I am at the mercy of a profit motivated system.

I, too, use E-scripts sometimes if my hospital doesn’t have the medicine. I absolutely do resent that we are required to use Generic meds, which I am pretty sure are really not up to standard…..our Government at work. I think we should have a choice. Oftentimes, I get a prescription filled at a local pharmacy to avoid generic, especially if it is for short term.

Thanks for your alert, otherwise probably would not have heard about it until Sept. appt with Cardiologist. Checked RX and it came from Solco. CVS told me not to stop Valsartan until my Dr. prescribes another RX. Called Nurse practitioner and she told me to stop Valsartan and Dr. would order Losartan. God help us all we are at their mercy.

Thanks for your alert, otherwise don’t know how I would have heard about it. Maybe in Sept. when I see my Cardiologist. Checked my RX and it came from Solco. CVS told me to call my Dr, but not to stop Valsartan until Dr. orders a new Med. Called Nurse practitioner and she told me to stop the Valsartan and that the Dr. would order Losartan. God help us all! I am 84 years old and take care of my meds and MD appts., maybe ignorance is bliss. Thanks again you do a great job.

Where do I sign up for the class action suit, in the USA?

This is the first phase of investigation so I am not too concerned. The time to be concerned is after they determine how much NDMA is in each pill and the adverse effect (if any) on people. No need to get hysterical at this time. This is a good time to commit to a better diet and exercise program and get off these pills altogether.

Valsartan Tablets 320mg – many side effects listed below
Cannot continue this med dosage. Many side effects:

1. pain, swelling, numbness in leg, foot, arm, hand, and face. Losing use of right hand due to swelling and numbness. Difficulty walking due to numbness and swelling.
2. Also causes strong hunger, overeating, weight gain
3. Fatique and weakness.
4. Most important – causes dizziness/vertigo and falls.

Per recommendation of Dr (cardiologist), I have switched timing of meds to take Metoprolol in the morning and take smaller dose of Valsartan in the evening. Also Dr recommended decreasing dosage. I tried splitting in half. Now trying one third. Some side effects have decreased – still having some side effects. Not ready to conclude yet.

Note all sartans I have tried in the past cause a lot of swelling/edema in feet, legs, arm, hand. Does the med lower my pb. Don’t know any good way to know.

I do not take Valsartan(generic). I take Diovan(brand name). Is there a danger as well?! Thank you!

I have been taking Valsartan for twelve years or more. I had breast cancer seven years ago. What cancers are suspect for this drug.

I agree our Valsartan pills that we are taking need to be tested for trace amounts of NDMA to ease all of our minds, we should not need to worry about this which will cause our blood pressure to go up. I was not going to continue something that may cause a serious illness. so I stopped taking them for a week and called the doctor and got a new prescription.

What a mess. Thankfully, as a customer of this product from Solco, I got the notice from the People’s Pharmacy. Otherwise, I would not have known about the recall. My pharmacy was no help … Solco is clueless as to what to do.

My doc changed my prescription to a different drug. Now I have paid for medicine twice and am sitting on over 100 valsartan tablets with no direction as to what to do with them and how I will get reimbursed for my wasted expense. Let’s just hope I don’t end up with liver cancer from this fiasco.

My pharmacy reimbursed me for every pill I brought them of valsartan!! Just return them to the pharmacy where you bought them.

After reading this I called the pharmacy we use they stated they were aware of the recall but were not required to call people on this medication. I requested Valsartan HCT from a different company. They took the old and provided the new.

Thank you for your article, this medication is for my husband and I would like to keep him around! No thanks to the pharmacy though!

Many thanks for alerting public about this recall of Valsartan. Will pass it on to family and friends…Hope all your readers will do the same.

My question is this: how do we know that this is the only batch contaminated? I have been taking Valsartan for years. If the manufacturer has been getting ingredients from China all this time, I could have been exposed to NDMA for a very long time.

I get my meds from Walgreens and I do have some valsartan from the affected batch (the seller, Solco, and the manufacturing lot, are both on the prescription bottle). What I want to know is, how in holy hell did a by-product from rocket fuel get into the medication? Did they use contaminated water to process the medicine? NDMA is super toxic.

Hi Jaime
I also live in n LC NM. I have been on Valsartan 160/12.5 mg. My pharmacy is also Walgreens. I’m petrified, I was diagnosed with renal carcinoma in 2013. I’ve been taking Valsartan for 6 yrs!

FDA……..Another government agency that is losing respect and reliability! Hope doctors and pharmacies are aware of this terrible news. Thank you People’s Pharmacy, you ARE reliable!

I always try to explain to my doctors. I’m not a good candidate for medications with fillers. My face swells up my lips swell up, and the rest is history. China strikes again! When are the politicians of this country going to wake up!

We are forced to take these cheap meds by our insurance companies, they are the ones who should pay the price! And they wonder why cancer is on the rise.

Thank you so much for this early warning. I called my PCP, he thought this recall was only for Europe. Then I went to Walgreens and my prescription had been supplied by Solco.

The pharmacist said they had no other Valsartan so my doctor put me on Losartan. I don’t know if Walgreens or my doctor would have ever notified me of the probem.

What are the long term effects of having taken this medicine?

My pharmacists had gotten the recall 30 minutes before I picked mine up. I take 2 different valsartan’s a day. She quickly replaced them while I waited. I just realized I have 12 left over from this manufacturer and called my pharmacy and if I bring them in they will replace the 12 !!

I, too, have been taking Valsartan-HCT for many years and developed breast cancer that was detected in September 2016…I wonder how many women are on this drug and have had breast cancer?….Is our FDA asleep? ….Why is the USA behind all the other countries of the world?….

Either the FDA or big pharma needs to provide an opportunity to test our leftover Valsartan pills for trace amounts of NDMA to ease all of our minds.

Yikes! I was on Valsartan Hctz. I told my Dr I thought I was allergic to it because I’d had diarrhea ever since starting (6 months).

I thought it was the red dye in the covering. Although he said that was highly unlikely, he prescribed Triamterene hctz which I had taken before. Problem solved. Am I glad I got off Valsartan.

Terrific. As a veteran the VA has issued me Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) for years. Looking at the FDA website, I see that the drug has been contaminated since 2015!

U.S. vets being poisoned by foreign drugs. Since the U.S. gov’t. issued this through the VA they should be creating a pool of money to deal with the possible cancer issues.

There is already a class action suit in Canada. Where do I sign up?

I called my pharmacy and asked about the recall. The pharmacist said my valsartan comes from McLeod, and there was not a recall on McLeod. McLeod is located in India. Should I be concerned?

I do not understand why something we swallow does not have to be labeled as to country of origin when something we wear (clothing) does.

Thank you for the notice regarding Valsartan, which I’m taking daily. Will check immediately with my heart specialist and Google pharmacist.
H. M. R.

Is Losartan the same as Valsartan? I have been taking Losartan for about 3 months now.

I get my Valsartan from Humana Pharmacy. Is there a way to find out if its source is on the proscribed list?

If you have a smartphone, you can download the Medscape app which has a pill identifier function that will identify the manufacture of the pill by the imprint. There may be other sites on the internet that do this also. If not, just reply with the pill’s color and any and all text that is no the tablets and I’ll try to look it up for you.

Only a week ago, my cardiologist changed my losartan prescription to omelsartan/HCTZ due to FDA concerns. That makes me wonder if any of the “…sartan” drugs are safe. Anybody?

Any further information on the Losartan?

I have kept all News letters and Alerts People’s Pharmacy has sent out on this Topic of ARB’s and Cancer, starting with the first letter in August 2013. I also copied the Lancet Report of July 2010 on ARB’s. One line in that report back in 2010 stated: “Among specific solid organ cancers examined, only new lung-cancer occurrence was significantly higher in patients randomly assigned to receive ARBs than in those assigned to receive control.”

My mom had by-pass surgery in the early 90’s. After her surgery she did everything the doctors said she need to do to stay healthy and live a long life. She lost weight, stopped drinking any alcohol and went to the gym and also walked 2 miles 5 days a week. In 2004 she started losing weight for no reason and went to the doctor and found out she had lung cancer. She died 8 months later just before her 73 birthday.

She did everything the medical profession says a person should do with heart disease, EXCEPT she was taking DIOVAN for blood pressure and had for years. She was a weekend smoker in her younger days, but quit some 30 years before her heart surgery. I asked the doctor if she died of smoker’s lung cancer, and he said NO. It is so sad that it was a medicine that possibly caused her to die way too early.

Thank you for putting this information out , as soon as you heard about it. I have been taking generic Valsartan for years. My present prescription says: MFG Solco, one of the bad ones. I am one of those people who do not like taking prescriptions, but have to take BP meds. Needless to say, this frightens me.

I remember seeing a photograph taken at a manufacturing facility in India – actually outside the facility. It was a massive pile of warfarin waiting to be packaged and shipped. It was just sitting out in the sun, not covered or protected in any way from the environment. I take warfarin and I found that photograph really distressing. I am very careful in taking care of medications I need/take once I get them, but who knows what condition they are in before they are in a container with my name on it. I try not to think about it

I use to be on Losartan, and the doctor changed me to Benzapril. I also take Amlodipine. Somewhere I read Benzapril was causing infection in the lining of the intestines. I looked for where I read it, but can’t find it. I have a problem with my left side: no pain except when I turn over on my side. I am to get an X-ray to see what’s going on. I’m suspicious of the problem I have.

Amazing that we allow ourselves to be subject to the greed of the drug companies who go to the lowest bidder, even a PROVEN poisoner such as China. Their manufacturers do not care about poisoning their own. Why would they have any scruples about adding poison to an exported drug?
Where is the testing and accountability for TEVA, Sandoz and those who stand to reap profit at our expense? It is WELL known that generics are a POOR substitute for a genuine drug, Synthroid, for one (of many, due to wide fluctuations in dosage from pill to pill) But just like shopping at WalMart, we like a bargain.

RE:Valsartan recall
Getting III NG conflicting info from local pharmacies. Due to different insurance, my wife and I use different pharmacies. Both of us have Valsartan by Solco. Her pharmacy says the recall is by lot number and she is ok. My pharmacy says recall is by manufacturer regardless of lot and is sending me a replacement. Any info as to who is right?

This is the problem we have with generics, and the whole pharmaceeutical industry as a whole. Generics can have a 10% leeway (more or less) in the amount of active ingredients in the product. Then there is the hidden point of manufacture — you don’t know where it came from. If people knew the point of manufacture, they would probably not choose China; in fact would probably pay more for drugs from a country with a better track record (remember the contaminated baby formula).

As for the Pharma industry, they are charging far more than an average profit margin on brand name drugs, even if those drugs have been around for 50+ years. This is where we need price controls. Most people cannot afford the new drugs being developed by Pharma. What if all the advertising for drugs had to list the per dose price before they say to bug your doctor. Please do a show on costs, big Pharma and also on the safety/efficacy of generics.

Who is “minding the store”? Do we really have confidence in the FDA making sure we are receiving the safest medications possible? I take this stuff and have been for years. Now I am receiving the prescription from a different manufacturer so red flags are up so I am contacting the pharmacy to ask if they are aware of the alert.

We NEED to make our own medicine HERE. I do not trust other countries, especially CHINA to make our medicine. Why do we even buy anything from them?
Can’t trust them at all!!!!

Walgreen’s told me to call the manufacturer to get a replacement. That is exactly who I do not want a replacement from!!!

Not surprising but scary. I know a scientist in the food industry that says the country should be scared to death of VITAMINS put in all our food from China due to impurities. He does not let his own children eat breakfast cereal for this exact reason.

To start with, thanks so much for the alert!! Pharmaceuticals have the money to cover up any mistakes or problems – so detrimental to all of us.

I have to use CVS through my employer, so I’ll be reaching out to CVS regarding my prescription. I notice that the pills have changed in appearance and they are from a totally different manufacturer. Thank you for the information and please keep us informed of any follow up.

The problem is that many drug dispensers will not disclose country of origin. We beseech health professionals, large employers, and those with leverage such as yourselves, to lobby drug companies to disclose, on the label, the country of origin, as is done for food these days.

Here’s what happens when you try to find out where a specific prescription was manufactured: My dispensing company, for example, will disclose country of distribution which is almost always the US, and they give you their telephone number. When you call the distributor, the distributor doesn’t know or won’t disclose that information. Reaching this information dead-end takes at least an hour on the phone.

The standard should be that the country of manufacture be printed on every label, as is the practice today with food. How can consumers be watchful when they can’t get access to the information they need?!

I called with the information and they would not disclosed the country or location of source. For medications I try not to order generic .

As long as healthcare in America is a business venture, drug and other healthcare companies will continue to have a terrific incentive to maximize profits by sourcing their products from low bidders, regardless of location.

That said, Congress should exercise stricter oversight of the FDA, manufacturers, and retailers to assure customers are receiving safe and effective medications.

PBMs and “Mangled” Care companies care about one thing, cost. When will reality set in. Not all the time, but a large portion of the time you get what you pay for. Unfortunately the “patient,” actually customer, is given no choice and if they were, most would choose price.

Another ARB to consider is irbesartan. One study found it superior to valsartan in reducing hypertension:

I’m just waking up and maybe I missed this in the article, but can we tell by when we obtained the product if it’s safe or not? I know I refilled my Valsartan in the beginning of June, for example, so maybe I’m safe? This is so scary! Valsartan makes me nervous as it is because of the links to lung cancer, but now this!!? I am extremely allergic to almost all other BP medications though, including Losartan, Lisinopril, and Amlodipine.

I take – have been taking – irbesartan for years. I assume it is an entirely different drug, tho’ it’s name is somewhat related. I enjoy your mesages – used to hear them on the radio in Wisconsin, but MPR does not carr you so this is a good subsitute.

I fear we are at far more public risk because of the drug and ingredients supplied form foreign countries than we are from steel or aluminium! China has much control over our well being by controlling our drug supply.

Very Good. Thanks

Thank you for this alert! I quit taking Valsartan because it made me sick to my stomach. I already have colon issues, so now I feel particularly grateful for this info. Love your newsletters!

The Chinese have put us between a rock and a hard place . We need to have more drug ingredients made in the USA and not depend on other countries for life saving drug ingredients.

I wonder if the Losartan I take for blood pressure is really safe now too. Also amlodipine, which I take as well. Is there any way you can get them to do more digging on this? Of course as you say, so many drugs come from China. Pretty scary.

To me this is becoming a matter of national security. It is appalling that profits are taking precedence over a a safe and reliable drug supply. When drugs have a single overseas source, people’s health is being gambled with. Natural disasters, war, terrorism, etc could easily cause a multidrug crisis, even if they are manufactured in a U.S. Territory like Puerto Rico. The FDA is not the agency it used to be, and our nation’s health will suffer. Does the FDA inspect foreign manufacturing facilities? I doubt highly that that occurs. The situation is deplorable, especially when we have some of the highest drug prices in the world.

THE FDA is nothing more than a name and a do nothing agency ……Weeks later after Europe and Canada recalled this drug the FDA finally wakes up …..I have been taking this poison for a long long time

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