UAE recalls some hypertension medicines over cancer fears

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Some medicines containing valsartan used for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart conditions are being recalled across Europe to be reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to determine the extent of ingredient impurity.

An unexpected impurity has been found in the active ingredient used to make some valsartan medicines.

"We continue to undertake an urgent review of all these products that may pose a low risk to public health". The recall order was sent to authorized agents and distributors of the recalled products with an order to quarantine all quantities of the products present within their warehouses.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working with pharmacies to recall the affected medicines but have also stated the importance of patients continuing their treatment but to seek advice from a healthcare professional immediately.


The Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health on Tuesday tasked all provincial departments of health and medicine manufacturers and pharmacies to suspend the circulation of all types of medicine containing Valsartan by the China-based Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Company indicated in a designated list, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

Five companies sell drugs containing valsartan in Canada, including Sanis, Sandoz and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Diovan is widely used to treat hypertension and all its related pharmaceutical products in the UAE and the rest of the world are safe to use.

Meanwhile, the ministry urged people not to believe rumours about medicine and to check official sources for information. MOHAP is routinely doing quality checks through testing random samples to ensure quality of medicines in the country through the quality control of laboratory at the Dubai Science Park. "The pharmacist can then figure out alternative medications that are unaffected by the recall".