The South African Health Products Regulatory Agency (Sahpra) has asked local drug firm Pharma Dynamics to urgently recall medicines for high blood pressure containing valsartan, which it distributes on behalf of the Chinese firm Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, due to possible contamination with carcinogenic impurities. The development follows moves by the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration earlier in July: both regulators have issued recalls for medicines containing generic valsartan made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals and are conducting a safety review. These products may contain N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a possible human carcinogen. Sahpra said the presence of NDMA was unexpected, and possibly due to changes in the way valsartan was manufactured. Sahpra said valsartan-containing medicines were commonly used to treat patients with high blood pressure to reduce complications such as heart attack and stroke. They are also used in patients who ...

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