When patients suffer from injuries and illnesses, they may rely on prescription drugs to mitigate the symptoms. Consumers and patients should expect nothing but the best possible treatment when obtaining a prescription drug.
Unfortunately, many pharmaceutical companies cut corners in order to reduce their own costs. They use substances that are cheap and easy to obtain, or manufacture drugs using machinery shared with harmful chemicals. Such is the case with the recently recalled drug valsartan, which was originally marketed under the brand name Diovan.
The recent FDA recall of Valsartan
CNN recently reported that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the list of recalled medications containing valsartan – a drug used to treat heart failure and blood pressure. A worldwide recall of products by a manufacturer, Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, prompted the FDA to investigate further. The products turned out to contain an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The investigation soon expanded to drug repackagers who had distributed the tainted products.
The FDA has since published a list of products that have been either recalled or not recalled. However, not all products containing valsartan were affected by the recall.
What is NDMA?
NDMA is a potentially cancer-causing substance that through manufacturing has unintentionally been mixed into the drug. The substance is also found in rocket fuel, antioxidants, and industrial lubricants, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Drug Watch reports that long-term consumption of NDMA can result in a slew of symptoms. These include:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Enlarged liver
- Reduced liver, kidney, and lung function
Scientists at the FDA estimated that if 8,000 people took 320 milligrams of valsartan containing NDMA daily for four years, it would result in an additional case of cancer in their lifetimes. However, the FDA also urges patients with valsartan prescriptions to continue taking the drug until it can be replaced by a doctor or pharmacist.
Can I file a legal claim?
According to Drug Watch, the most common injuries caused by valsartan side effects that result in lawsuits include liver damage, tumors, and cancer. If you have been diagnosed with any of these illnesses, it’s crucial that you consult with an experienced Mobile product liability attorney immediately.
In order to have a solid claim, you must prove that the company responsible for manufacturing or distributing the drug was negligent, and that the negligence in question was the proximate cause of your injury or illness. An FDA recall of Valsartan is the most noteworthy piece of evidence your attorney needs to help build your claim. However, your attorney may examine other factors:
- Did the company seek FDA approval before testing the drug?
- Did the company accurately warn consumers of the risks associated with the drug?
- Did the company make any misleading or false claims regarding the drug?
If you have suffered any complications after consuming valsartan, contact Dean Waite & Associates, LLC today and find out how we can help you.