Over the past several months, dozens of blood pressure medications used to treat high blood pressure have been recalled. Federal investigators have discovered potentially cancer-causing impurities in them. The Public Interest Research Group just reported the 75th recall of blood pressure medications since the problem first appeared (That’s right, 75 blood pressure medications)!
These common prescription drugs include valsartan, losartan, and irbesartan in different combinations and from different manufacturers.
“After 75 recalls it is clear more aggressive action is needed,” Public Interest Research Group consumer watchdog Adam Garber said in a release. “Americans expect their blood pressure medication to treat their conditions, not cause cancer. The FDA needs to finish its investigation and develop a plan to prevent further contamination.”
The FDA is working to determine what exactly has caused the impurities and what changes need to be made in the manufacturing process to prevent it.
The problems have become so widespread that on March 12, 2019 the FDA prioritized approval of a new generic of valsartan to help relieve shortages of the drug.
Here are some of the specific drugs that have been recalled:
Losartan. In December, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of losartan potassium tablets USP. An addition eight lots of Torrent Pharmaceuticals’ losartan tablets were added to a previous recall in January. See which products were affected by the recall.
In November, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide, 100 mg/25 mg tablets in 1,000-count plastic bottles, NDC 0781-5207-10, Lot number JB8912, Exp. Date 06/2020.
Torrent’s recall was expanded on Jan. 22 to include 10 additional lots of losartan potassium tablets, and six lots of losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide tablets. Torrent further expanded the recall in April for 36 more lots of losartan potassium tablets and 68 lots of losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets.
Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited on Feb. 25 recalled one lot of losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide combination tablets 100mg/25mg, with a July 2019 expiration date.
Camber Pharmaceuticals on Feb. 28 recalled 87 lots of losartan tablets USP 25mg, 50 mg and 100 mg. Click here to see what the products look like.
Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging, LLC on March 15 recalled 43 lots of losartan tablets.
Irbesartan. In July, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of irbesartan tablets. See which products were affected by the recall. In January 2019, Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc., doing business as Solco Healthcare LLC, voluntarily recalled eight llots of irbersartan-based drugs. These are not yet listed on the FDA’s website of all recalled ibersartan products. The recall involves irbersartan and irbersartan HCTZ tabletes manufactured in China.
Valsartan. There have been so many types of valsartan recalled this year that the FDA has created a website listing just for them. The latest is American Health Packaging’s 160 mg valsartan tablets, lot number 179791 that expire on March 31, 2020. The pills come in 100-count blister packs with NDC number 60687-139-01.