Valsartan is the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and heart attack. It is sold in generic form and under the brand name Diovan. Valsartan is in a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
Valsartan produced by certain manufacturers, including Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical, has been contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which causes cancer along with other side effects.
Numerous pharmaceutical companies are involved in the valsartan recall, and the list continues to grow. If you have developed colorectal, kidney, liver or stomach cancer after taking contaminated valsartan for at least one year, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. Please talk to an experienced defective drug attorney right away to learn more.
Risk of Valsartan Cancer Much Higher Than First Believed
Contamination of valsartan with NDMA started in late 2014, but the first recall was not announced until July 2018. At that time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimated that only one out of 8,000 people taking the contaminated drug for four years at its highest dose might develop cancer as a result.
We now know that the risk is much higher and will not truly know how high until more time passes and more people are diagnosed or die. The more contaminated valsartan you have taken, the higher your risk.
If you are taking valsartan, you should talk to your doctor before stopping so you can switch to an alternative drug. Not all valsartan-containing products are contaminated.
Chinese Manufacturer Knew Valsartan was Contaminated
There are several companies that manufacture valsartan. These include:
- Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical, of China
- Hetero Labs Limited, of India
- Mylan Pharmaceutical Company
Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical (ZHP), of China, has manufactured most of the valsartan sold around the world since 2012. Despite receiving warning letters from the FDA and being notified of the contamination by at least one U.S. manufacturer, ZHP continued to sell the tainted valsartan.
Who Can be Held Liable?
Generally, in product liability lawsuits, anyone along the supply chain may be held liable. In valsartan lawsuits defendants may include Chinese manufacturer ZHP, and the U.S. manufacturers that used the contaminated API to make valsartan products. They include:
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
- Solco Healthcare
- Prinston Pharmaceutical
- Aurobindo Pharma
- Camber Pharmaceuticals
- Major Pharmaceuticals
- Torrent Pharma
In some states, distributers may also be held liable. Examples include:
Even though valsartan contamination began only a few years ago, an alarming number of patients who took the contaminated drug on a regular basis have been diagnosed with the cancers known to be caused by NDMA, and that number is expected to keep growing. If you have used a valsartan drug for a year or more, since 2014, and have been diagnosed stomach, kidney, liver or colorectal cancer, please talk to an experienced defective product attorney right away to learn more about your rights and how you can recover compensation for your injuries.