More than 12,000 South Africans are currently taking heart pills that have just been recalled because it could cause cancer.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has just recalled high blood pressure and heart pills, which contain a controversial carcinogenic ingredient that was manufactured in China.
Dynaval 80 mg and 160 mg tablets are not affected, said the distributor of the tablets in South Africa, Pharma Dynamics.
A spokesperson of the company said that every year 140,000 containers of these pills are sold in South Africa. The pills are not available in the state health sector.
An estimated 12,000 people are currently using the affected tablets.
They should urgently return the medicine to their pharmacies.
The medicine has an ingredient called valsartan, which contains NDMA – a chemical known to cause liver and lung cancer. A Chinese pharmaceutical company manufactured the affected tablets, which have now been recalled across the world.
The recall started earlier this month in Europe, but it took a full three weeks for the local authorities to order its withdrawal in South Africa.
“We have been actively working with SAHPRA to ensure a swift recall of all affected products and we will issue a full refund for all returned Dynaval Co products," said Pharma Dynamics CEO, Erik Roos.
People who have been using the medicine can get the refund from their pharmacies.
A Pharma Dynamics spokesperson warned that it is dangerous to just stop using the medication – they need to speak to a pharmacist or doctor first about a substitution. The company doesn’t have any immediate plans to foot these doctors’ bills, however.
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