DUBAI, The Ministry of Health and Prevention, MOHAP, has issued a circular ordering the recall of some anti-hypertensive medicines containing the active ingredient, Valsartan, manufactured by Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical after the detection of impurities in the active ingredient.

"This recall is a precautionary measure taken by the ministry following the report issued by the European Medicines Agency indicating the detection of a contamination of the active ingredient with N-Nitrosodimethylamine, NDMA, a chemical that might lead to cancer. Valsartan is a medicine used for the treatment of hypertension to prevent related cardiovascular complications," the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, the circular was released and addressed to all directors of the medical districts, directors of public and private hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and assistant pharmacists, as well as directors of government and private pharmacies. The recall was issued after the ministry's senior officials reviewed Ministerial Resolution No. 366 of 2010 governing the withdrawal, suspension, or prevention of distribution of pharmaceutical and medical products to protect public health.

The circular includes a list of affected products that have been registered with the drug department of MOHAP. The recall order was sent to authorised agents and distributors of the recalled products with an order to quarantine all quantities of the products present within their warehouses. The circular has also directed that healthcare practitioners and doctors should not prescribe or dispense the affected products and also advises patients to not discontinue use of the medicine unless they consult with the doctor to prescribe other alternatives registered with the ministry.

Source: Emirates News Agency