CARDIOVASCULAR MEDICINES CONTAINING VALSARTAN RECALLED
Issued on 25 July 2018: The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and other medicine authorities yesterday confirmed the recall of certain medicines containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient, valsartan, due to an impurity that was found at one of the manufacturing facilities in China that produces the molecule for pharmaceutical companies the world over.
The molecule was recalled across several international markets including the USA and Europe as many originator and generic suppliers source valsartan from the same manufacturer.
The presence of the impurity could be linked to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured, but a thorough investigation is currently underway to determine the exact cause.
SAHPRA has stated that it will continue to investigate and assess whether the impurity may pose any risk to patients and collect more data on the safety of valsartan-containing medicines as it becomes available. At this stage no definitive information has been received to indicate an immediate threat to patients as investigations are still underway.
SAHPRRA is advising patients to consult with their doctor or pharmacist and to continue taking the medicine until they have a replacement medicine.
The molecule, which has been on the SA market for 21 years, is used globally to treat cardiovascular disease.
A locally affected product is Dynaval Co 80/12.5 mg, 160/12.5 mg and 160/25 mg, which is supplied by Pharma Dynamics.
Pharma Dynamics CEO, Erik Roos, says the company has been working closely with SAHPRA to ensure a swift recall of all affected products in South Africa.
“The health and safety of patients is of paramount concern to us. Regular quality checks are done by at site level and when the impurity was detected earlier this month, international health authorities were immediately notified and recall protocols were followed. “
“Pharma Dynamics is South Africa’s leading provider of cardiovascular medication both in terms of value and volume and we remain committed to providing the highest quality of care to patients. The organisation has a proud 17-year history of providing quality medicines without a single class one product recall,” says Roos.
Neither Dynaval 80 mg and 160 mg tablets, nor any other Pharma Dynamics products have been affected.
Pharma Dynamics will also refund all returned Dynaval Co products and patients can return products to the pharmacy where it was originally dispensed.
Roos adds that SAHPRA has classified the recall as a class II type B recall, which instructs affected pharmaceutical companies to only notify healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and other authorised prescribers and dispensers of the recall as it doesn’t pose a serious threat to life.
Patients are advised to consult with a healthcare professional before discontinuing the use of valsartan.
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I work in the supply chain department at Pharma Dynamics, where teamwork is crucial to ensure a constant supply of life-saving medication. Our daily office life reminds me of a relay race – we are constantly handing over the baton! It has always been a dream of mine to help people. I am very privileged to work in a company that is passionate about expanding access to healthcare.
As geeky as it may seem, I am fascinated by the lifecycle of molecules. It’s very exciting when a new molecule is discovered. I find it particularly interesting how the molecule is optimised and transformed to decrease side effects and increase efficacy. These tiny molecules are extraordinarily powerful – they transform human lives every day!