A new class action lawsuit has been filed in New York federal court that seeks restitution for consumers who purchased valsartan tablets that may be tainted with a cancer-causing chemical.
The tablets in question are among those included in a massive valsartan recall that continues to expand.
The complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, on August 16th, names Solco Healthcare, Prinston Pharmaceutical, Walgreens, and Throgg Neck Pharmacy as defendants. (Case 1:18-cv-07460)
The valsartan lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of all individuals in New York and throughout the United States who purchased valsartan tablets tainted with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The complaint further asserts that hundreds to thousands of consumers could be eligible to join the proposed class.
“Plaintiffs and the Class were injured by the full purchase price of their valsartan-containing medications,” the lawsuit states. “These medications are worthless, as they are contaminated with carcinogenic and harmful NDMA and are not fit for human consumption.”
Valsartan, sold under the brand name Diovan, is indicated to treat high pressure and heart failure.
Over the past several months, valsartan recalls have been announced by dozens of generic in the United States and 22 other countries, after testing detected trace amounts of NDMA in active ingredient supplied by China-based Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals.
The presence of the chemical is thought to have resulted from a change in Zhejian Huahai’s production methods
NDMA was also detected in active ingredient manufactured by an Indian company, Hetero Labs and a second Chinese company, Zhejiang Tianyu. So far, however, NDMA found in the ingredient from those two suppliers has been significantly lower than what was detected in active ingredient obtained from Zhejian Huahai Pharmaceutical.
Just yesterday, Torrent Pharmaceuticals became the latest generic drug maker to announce a valsartan recall. The affected products contain active ingredient from Zhejian Hauhai.
“Patients should contact their pharmacist or physician who can advise them about an alternative treatment prior to returning their medication,” the recall notice states. “Patients who are on valsartan should continue taking their medication, as the risk of harm to the patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment.”
No adverse events have been linked to medications included in the Torrent Pharmaceuticals valsartan recall.
It is important to note that these recalls DO NOT affect all valsartan medications currently on the market. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has posted an updated list of products included in the valsartan recall, as well as a list of products not included in the recall, on its website.