In early 2018 health officials discovered batches of popular blood pressure drugs like valsartan, losartan, and irbesartan were tainted by impurities known to cause severe health hazards to patients. Each of these medications belong to a drug class called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which are used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure in patients.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uncovered that several medications belonging to the ARB drug class had active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) contaminated by impurities called NDMA. NDMA exposure has been linked to severe side effects, some of them potentially deadly. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that about 1.6 million people purchased valsartan in the US in 2016, placing millions at risk of developing serious health conditions.
What is NDMA in Valsartan?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), several generic versions of the drug valsartan contained active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIS) with high levels of n-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says NDMA is an odorless, yellow liquid, typically produced in the U.S. only for the use as a research chemical.
While NDMA is typically reserved as a research chemical, the CDC says that NDMA can be unintentionally formed during various manufacturing processes. In some cases manufacturing processes react with chemicals called alkylamines, man-made or natural compounds found in the environment, and form NDMA as a hazardous byproduct.
In the case of valsartan and other ARBs, health officials insinuate that batches of these blood pressure medications were tainted by NDMA during the manufacturing process. The first valsartan recalls issued in July 2018 impacted batches of the drug manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals in China. Health officials found the active ingredients the company used to manufacture valsartan contained high levels of NDMA.
The FDA states that valsartan and similar medication could have been tainted by NDMA as early as 2014. This means millions upon millions of patients across the U.S. could be at risk of being harmed by NDMA side effects.
What are the Side Effects of NDMA?
The CDC indicates NDMA is incredibly harmful to humans’ livers. In both humans and animals exposed to NDMA, NDMA caused both to develop severe liver damage and tumors.
Additionally the CDC states NDMA is probable human carcinogen. Through animal testing, NDMA exposure increased animals’ risk of developing cancer, notably in the liver, bladder, pancreas, and stomach. Scientists indicate that NDMA exposure can likely cause cancer in humans, as well.
According to the widespread lawsuits from across the U.S., valsartan contaminated by NDMA caused patients to develop cancer, including the following:
- Liver cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Abdominal cancer
- Colon cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Renal cancer
Did You Take Valsartan and Develop Cancer?
If you developed cancer after taking valsartan, you may be entitled to compensation for your cancer diagnosis and injuries. Valsartan manufacturers were negligent to ensure their products were created and distributed safely, causing your pain and suffering.
Through filing a claim for dangerous valsartan medication, you may be able to recover compensation to help you recover from the side effects of contaminated medication, such as:
- The cost of, essentially, dangerous and worthless drugs
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Pain & suffering
The McGartland Law Firm can help you pursue compensation for your valsartan injuries, providing the legal expertise and experience necessary to give your case the best chance of success. We can find out if you have grounds for legal action and find compensation for any harms that have been committed against you.
At the McGartland Law Firm, our dangerous drugs attorneys have decades of experience handling even the most difficult product liability cases. We want to see you heal and recover, so we fight tirelessly to see your case succeed. To connect with a legal professional today and schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation, contact us today at 1.866.832.9300.