As reported by CBS News, Macleods Pharmaceuticals is recalling another 32 lots of its widely used blood pressure medication Losartan that was sold nationwide, after finding the medication contained trace amounts of a probable carcinogen known as NMBA.
According to a notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Based on the available information, the risk of developing cancer in a few patients following long-term use of the product cannot be ruled out.”
Since 2018, there have been at least 19 recalls by drug makers of versions of losartin and valsartan over fears of tainting from carcinogenic chemicals. The newest losartin recall follows similar recalls of the similar heart drug valsartan, the generic equivalent of the hypertension drug Diovan, also used to treat blood-pressure issues.
The valsartan recall began after the U.S. FDA announced it had reason to believe some of the valsartan entering the U.S. from China had become contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen. In the wake of the valsartan contamination and ensuing drug recall, lawsuits were filed across the United States on behalf of patients who purchased the unsafe drug. The agency is still conducting investigations, but has said the contamination was believed to be related to changes in the way that valsartan was manufactured. There are allegations in the lawsuits that as early as 2012 distributors ignored clear warning signs regarding the operating standards at the manufacturing plant in China.