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It Has Been One Year Since Researchers Found a Carcinogen In Blood Pressure Medicine

In one short year, dangerously high levels of a cancer-causing substance have been found in blood pressure, heartburn, and diabetes medicines sold in the United States and Canada

Thursday, June 11, 2020 - June 18, 2020, will be the first anniversary of online drug testing pharmacy Valisure's report to the US Food and Drug Administration of finding a potentially cancer-causing substance contaminating leading blood pressure medications.

The FDA originally denied the Valisure's CEO David Light's findings as insignificant and reiterated that the amount of an impurity called dimethylformamide (DMF) in the blood pressure medication valsartan "was well below levels deemed to be potentially harmful," according to Reuters. Dimethylformamide (DMF) is classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans" by the World Health Organization.

Valsartan is sold under the trade name Diovan and others and is used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and diabetic kidney disease.

The citizen's report of finding the carcinogen DMF in blood pressure medications led the FDA to make the comparison of the levels found to be insignificant however CEO Light argued that the agency's DMF threshold was unrealistically lenient and should be lowered, according to Reuters, to come in line with the parts per million limits the agency holds for N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), the latter chemical having been found in levels thousands of times the acceptable limit in Zantac heartburn tablets.

The citizen's petition that was filed with the FDA by Valisure triggered other inspections at the online testing pharmacy that in this Coronavirus-shortened year has seen not only blood pressure medication, but also Zantac, the world's best selling heartburn and acid reflux medication, and metformin diabetes medications recalled and removed from the market in all of North America. The seemingly innocuous report filed only one year ago has mushroomed into a major international health crisis and resulted in millions of consumers having to do without their needed mediations. It is also feared that the FDA's inability to oversee drug manufacturing processes abroad could have led to hundreds of other types of medication being contaminated with carcinogenic substances.

In the wake of the blood pressure medication report, the FDA has recalled Zantac, the world's leading heartburn and acid reflux medication from sales in North America after Valisure found and reported excessive levels of NDMA in their tablets that are sold over the counter and also by prescription. NDMA is a known carcinogen and the FDA had previously determined that under 96 ng of the substance per gram was acceptable. Valisure's findings have been orders of magnitude greater and prompted the FDA to issue the recall order. More recently, the FDA has ordered five prominent manufacturers of metformin diabetes drugs to also remove their products from sale.

Hundreds of individuals have consulted Zantac Cancer lawyers in recent months and have filed lawsuits against multinational drug manufacturing conglomerates like Sanofi for failing to warn consumers of what they knew or should have known regarding the levels of NDMA in their products. Legal experts anticipate that the number of lawsuits to grow into the thousands in 2020 and beyond as plaintiffs allege that Sanofi purposefully hid the drug's alleged cancer-causing complications.

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OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. The Onder Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.

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