Min. of Health recalls drug

A common drug used to treat blood pressure and heart disease has been recalled apparently due to an impurity in the drug that health care providers say pose a potential cancer risk and contamination of an active pharmaceutical ingredient.

The Ministry of Health released a statement Friday advising all patients who were issued Varlsartan tablets between May 1 and July 13 to return the medication to the nearest public hospital or clinic immediately.

Persons taking medicined containing Varlsartan, however, are advised to continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product.

Anyone experiencing adverse effects after taking pills should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The ministry said all possible contaminated medication has been removed from its pharmacies. Wholesale suppliers and retail pharmaceutical distribution sites have also been notified of the recall.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) issued an announcement about the recall on July 13. Twenty-two other countries have also issued Varlsartan recalls.