Impurities that are introduced in a drug’s manufacturing and distribution chain can turn an otherwise safe and efficacious pharmaceutical into a potentially carcinogenic substance. This is particularly true where lower-cost manufacturers produce generic forms of a drug product.
The pharmaceutical product liability lawyers at Showard Law Firm now see this happening with the wave of problems that have led the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and many of its foreign counterparts to recall large batches of valsartan drug products, which were first marketed under the “Diovan” brand name as a treatment for blood pressure and heart disease. The FDA issued a press release to inform the public that certain forms of this product may contain unsafe levels of a carcinogenic substance known as NDMA. If your physician prescribed a valsartan product to treat your blood pressure or heart disease, you may well be at a heightened risk of developing cancer if your supply of the drug came from sources that caused impurities to be included in the product.
If you have suffered liver damage, tumors or cancer as a result of your use of a valsartan product, you may be eligible to receive damages for medical bills, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and more. Contact Showard Law Firm today for a free consultation to see how much your case is worth and to discuss your legal options.
FDA’s Valsartan Recall
Following recalls by regulatory bodies in at least twenty-two other countries, the FDA announced a voluntary recall in July 2018 of valsartan-containing medicines that were distributed in the U.S by five different companies. Those companies all procured supplies of the product from a Chinese generic drug manufacturer that had allowed high levels of NDMA to be included in the product. In its recall notice, the FDA emphasized that not all supplies of valsartan products were contaminated and that patients who had been prescribed a valsartan-containing drug should consult with their pharmacists to verify if their prescriptions were potentially tainted.
After the initial recall notice, the FDA has issued multiple updates to clarify which companies distributed the tainted products. More patients are becoming aware that they have been using these pharmaceuticals, which pose a risk of compromising their health and well-being. With growing awareness of the problem, more valsartan lawsuits are expected to be filed.
Risks Associated with Tainted Blood Pressure Medications
The NDMA contaminant that was included with the tainted valsartan products has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen. Manufacturing records suggest that NDMA could have been included with valsartan products from the Chinese manufacturer since at least 2014. This suggests that over a longer period of time, high blood pressure and heart disease patients that were on a regular valsartan drug product regimen could have consumed substantial quantities of the carcinogenic NDMA impurity, leading to a significantly increased risks of cancer or liver damage.
Valsartan Class Action Lawsuit
In August 2018, two New York State residents filed a federal lawsuit seeking class action status for all individuals who suffered actual or prospective harm from tainted valsartan drugs. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit allege that the defendant pharmaceutical product distributors made false representations and warranties with respect to the safety of their valsartan products.
What You Can Do if You Use a Valsartan Drug Product for High Blood Pressure or Heart Disease
First, consult with your pharmacist to determine if the manufacturer or distributor of the drug that you are taking is on the recall list. If so, ask your pharmacist for a substitute product.
Next, talk to your physician about alternative drug products to control your high blood pressure or heart disease. Your physician can prescribe other pharmaceuticals that have equivalent efficacy for high blood pressure and heart problems.
Lastly, if you have been diagnosed with tumors, cancer or liver damage after taking a valsartan product, contact Showard Law Firm to see if you are eligible to file a suit for monetary damages.
Valsartan Lawsuits Seek Monetary Damages for Medical Bills and More
Plaintiffs in valsartan cancer lawsuits may sue for compensation including:
- Actual and prospective medical costs and expenses
- Lost wages associated with illnesses that prevent one from working
- Loss of companionship
- Disability costs
- Pain and suffering, and other non-economic losses
In addition, a court may award punitive damages to punish distributors for their carelessness in allowing tainted products to be introduced into the drug product marketplace.
Valsartan Lawyers at Showard Law Firm
The valsartan lawyers at Showard Law Firm will review your case for free and, if warranted, will initiate a lawsuit on your behalf. Our defective drug attorneys will guide you through the process of collecting all of the information you need to support any claims that you might have against the pharmaceutical companies that allowed carcinogenic impurities to be included in prescription drugs that they sold to unsuspecting patients. Please call us to speak with one of our valsartan attorneys about your potential case today.
- FDA.gov, FDA Updates on Valsartan Recalls. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm613916.htm
- Harris Martin, Class Action Targets Drug Makers Who Sold NDMA-Contaminated Valsartan Drugs, https://harrismartin.com/article/23760/class-action-targets-drug-makers-who-sold-ndma-contaminated-valsartan-drugs/