Health Canada says the medications were supplied by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals of China and that the valsartan used in the affected products contains an impurity known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
The Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health on Tuesday tasked all provincial departments of health and medicine manufacturers and pharmacies to suspend the circulation of all types of medicine containing Valsartan by the China-based Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Company indicated in a designated list, the Vietnam News Agency reports.
According to Health Canada recommendations, patients that take that drug should talk with their pharmacists to know if their medicine was recalled. This impurity has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
Explaining how the NDMA may have been introduced into the active substance, the EMA suggested it was likely to have been introduced due to changes in the way the ingredient was manufactured.
The Ministry has affirmed that it is always in close coordination and communication with the FDA and the European and Australian Medicines agencies to get any updates and take any necessary actions as soon as possible to protect the health of patients and people in the country.
Other medicines containing valsartan are not affected. "The pharmacist can then figure out alternative medications that are unaffected by the recall". They are also used by patients who have had heart failure or a recent heart attack. For example, Swiss company Novartis informed the ministry that their products containing valsartan are not impacted because these products do not contain the ingredient from external suppliers.