Billions of pills containing Valsartan have been sold worldwide to people that require them for their daily heart health; however, what many don’t know is that these pills once considered “safe” had been contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that can cause a bevy of even worse health problems.
NDMA exposure is linked to cancers and other conditions, such as:
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
- Kidney cancer
- Kidney failure
- Gastric cancer
- Intestinal cancer (including rectal or colon cancer)
- Esophageal cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- A lowered white blood cell count
The contamination was only recently discovered, but it has been suggested that it began back in 2012, which is troubling for individuals taking Valsartan—especially on a daily basis—for the past several years. Lawsuits on behalf of these innocent users have been filed across the country, and more are soon to follow.
If you are one of these individuals, consider taking immediate legal action against those that manufactured, marketed, and sold this defective drug. In a culture where profit motive exists, drug companies must be held responsible for cutting corners at the expense of consumer safety.
At Ramos Law, we built this law firm with a simple goal in mind – to take care of good people. Let us take care of you as we help you face down mega-corporations and their army of attorneys.
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What is Valsartan?
Valsartan is an active ingredient in commonly prescribed generic drugs used to treat high blood pressure, hypertension, and heart failure. It works as an angiotensin II receptor antagonist that reduces constricted blood vessels, therefore, allowing blood to flow more freely. It is also the generic name of the drug Diovan, which means it is supposed to be of equal quality and safety to its brand-name counterpart.
Valsartan is often used as a “maintenance” drug, which means it is taken daily and on a long-term basis. For example, people with high blood pressure may take one pill daily and heart failure patients might take two. This sort of continuous long-term use is exactly the type of exposure that may lead to cancer for unsuspecting individuals.
Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals is a wholesale pharmaceutical production lab that synthesizes the Valsartan compound and wholesales it to major pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. and around the world. Quality control tests performed in mid-2018 revealed that certain batches of their Valsartan were dangerously contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA.
NDMA is a “probable human carcinogen” according to both the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization. Moreover, NDMA may cause several different types of cancer, liver damage, and tumors. It is believed that the batches may have been tainted when the company changed its manufacturing processes a few years ago.
The information contained within quality control tests immediately prompted the FDA to issue a global safety recall of the contaminated Valsartan products. The following companies were involved in the recall:
- NuCare Pharmaceuticals
- Solco Healthcare
- Major Pharmaceuticals
- Torrent Pharmaceuticals
- Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals
- A-S Medication Solutions
- Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Bryant Ranch Prepack
What Do Valsartan Cancer Lawsuits Allege?
Numerous lawsuits across the nation have been filed against companies involved with the allegedly tainted Valsartan drugs, including the companies listed above in the recall and any other entity that had a hand in the manufacturing process.
Plaintiffs allege that the defendants knew—or should have known—of the Valsartan impurities all the way back in 2012 and still did not warn patients and their doctors of the dangers of the product. Also, manufacturers disregarded required safety protocols at the plant where contamination occurred in the first place.
Ultimately, patients were misled and would not have bought the drugs if they knew they were contaminated and should therefore receive compensation for the drug companies’ negligence.