(Yicai Global) July 30 -- Huahai Pharmaceutical has completed a domestic recall of the drug valsartan, according to China's State Food and Drug Administration. Mainly used for treating high blood pressure, batches of Huahai's valsartan have been found to contain a carcinogenic impurity.
The spokesman for the regulator also advised patients to keep taking the drug since treatment delays can be dangerous. If in doubt, users should contact their medical practitioner about changing supplier, he added. The National Health and Family Planning Commission today also told all medical institutions in the country to stop using Huahai's valsartan.
Six producers involved in making the drug have canceled deliveries, the State Food and Drug Administration said on its website yesterday. Together with information technology companies, five of the firms that have already shipped valsartan launched a mobile app yesterday so customers can track down substandard batches.
The European Medicines Agency said on July 5 that it had found a carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, in valsartan made by Huahai Pharmaceutical. China's State Food and Drug Administration conducted risk assessments on all seven domestic manufacturers of the drug and found no other issues related to this cancer-causing by-product of chemical processes.
None of Huahai's other products contain NDMA, the Zhejiang-based company said in a statement today. The firm will continue to improve its evaluation systems and improve product quality to prevent similar incidents in the future, it added.
Shares of Huahai Pharmaceutical [SHA:600521] fell 1.9 percent today to close at CNY20.35 (USD2.98).
Editor: Emmi Laine