Lawsuits keep rolling in against the manufacture of a generic heart medication that has been found to be contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals. This contaminant has been on the market for a few years and has found its way into many commercial heart medications. The cancer-causing chemical known as NDMA was detected in Valsartan—an ingredient in heart medication manufactured by the company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co.
A lawyer looking into these cases has found over 2,000 personal injury cases linked to the contaminated medicine that may potentially sue for damages. Claims that were filed against the manufacturer have totaled over 93 million dollars. Lawyers involved in the cases have stated that it will be a difficult task to prove whether or not claimants have developed cancer due to exposure to the contaminated drug.
The FDA has been conducting a complicated recall medication contaminated by the drug since July of 2018. The FDA has claimed that drugs may have been contaminated for the last four years. The recall effort has been a complicated process of tracking down all of the different manufactures the tainted drug has been used in. The FDA has identified many of the contaminated drugs, but the process is complicated by the fact that Valsartan isn’t medicine in itself, but an ingredient used by many other companies.
So far, CVS, Mylan, Teva, and over 30 other companies have been found to have used the contaminated drug. Each of these companies has been named in at least one of the many lawsuits while Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. is the number one target of all of the legal proceedings. These lawsuits are still in the early stages and the outcomes of these proceedings will likely be unknown for a few years to come.
The FDA has concluded that it needs to revamp its policies and securities involving the production of these kinds of drugs. Specifically, the FDA is going to take steps to increase the safety and purity of medicines and components entering the US from foreign manufacturers—which was the case with the NDMA contaminated Valsartan. The FDA already inspected other factories with similar possible contaminations.