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Voluntary drug recall alert: Valsartan

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On July 13, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a voluntary recall of valsartan. Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

The FDA announced the voluntary recall after finding an impurity linked to cancer in drug products containing valsartan.

Not all valsartan-containing drugs are affected and have been recalled.

Express Scripts identified 31,120 TRICARE beneficiaries who potentially received contaminated products through the mail order network or from retail pharmacies. The Department of Defense (DoD) sent notification letters to all beneficiaries who potentially received currently affected products.

The FDA notes that because this is an ongoing investigation, more manufacturers may voluntarily recall their valsartan products. If additional valsartan products are added to the recall list, the DoD will continue to send letters to TRICARE beneficiaries who received contaminated products.

Patients and prescribers are also encouraged to check the FDA website often for potential changes in the recall status of their valsartan medicine.

If you take valsartan, the FDA recommends:

  • Continue taking your current medicine until your doctor or pharmacist gives you a replacement or a different treatment option.
  • If you are taking any medication containing valsartan, compare the information on your prescription bottle with the information in the recall list (company, National Drug Code, lot number) to determine if your current medicine has been recalled. If you are not certain, contact your pharmacist.
  • If you have medicine included in the recall, contact your pharmacist. The pharmacist may be able to provide you with valsartan made by another company. If not, contact your doctor immediately to discuss other treatment options.

You can find the latest information about the recall and affected products on the FDA website.

If you have more questions about the recall, contact the FDA or the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Pharmacy Operations:

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