The US Food and Drug Administration is cautioning of a lack of a class of medications utilized by millions to treat hypertension. The medications known as ARBs, or angiotensin II receptor blockers, contain valsartan.
“Valsartan products are in shortage, and we know that other types of products may fall into shortage soon,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and FDA director of drug evaluation and research Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement released Friday.
The notice comes as a developing rundown of the medications containing valsartan, losartan and irbesartan have been reviewed from the market for containing a polluting influence that shows a cancer risk.
That impurity was found in July when FDA lab tests confirmed that a few drugs containing valsartan were contaminated with a chemical called NDMA, an environmental contaminant and possible carcinogen.
The FDA said its progressing examination had decided the polluting influences were produced in the assembling procedure and could have come about “from the reuse of materials, such as solvents.”
The FDA is trying all ARBs for these polluting influences. It needed to structure an uncommon test after it discovered that a few ingredients imported from one organization in China, Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, were polluted.
The FDA set Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals on an import alert toward the finish of September, which means all active pharmaceutical items and completed items made by the organization won’t be allowed to enter the United States. The FDA settled on that choice after it investigated the facility uncovering “systemic problems of supervision that could have created the conditions for quality issues to arise.”
The FDA said the general introduction to the polluted medications “appears to be small” but that it did not diminish the agency’s concern on how the contamination occurred. The goal, the agency said, “is to balance the risk of patients ingesting low levels of the impurities (below the interim acceptable levels) for a short period of time with the risk that there is a shortage of certain ARBs, which may impact patients’ ability to access the medicine they need.”
Starting at now, the long haul dangers presented by the NDMA found in certain valsartan-containing drugs remain to some degree obscure, and the measure of NDMA consumed would assume a job in those dangers, Dr. Erin Michos, an associate professor and associate director of preventive cardiology at Johns Hopkins Medicine told CNN in November.
In other words, “the dose makes the poison,” she said. “What we know about the dangers of this impurity comes primarily from laboratory studies. It is a toxin that can affect the liver and cause liver fibrosis or scarring and liver tumors in rats. So it is assumed to be toxic to humans, as well,” Michos said.
“In these animal studies, they usually give large quantities, so again, the risk is likely not the same equivalent in humans,” she said.