Six drugs containing carcinogen recalled by makers

Taipei, Six locally made drugs using a cancer- causing ingredient from China are being taken off the market in Taiwan at the instruction of the government, pharmaceutical companies said Monday.

Both Standard Chem & Pharm Co., Ltd. and Yungshin Pharm Ind. Co., Ltd., said they have stopped producing the drugs and are recalling them from pharmacies and other outlets as a precaution.

Standard Chem & Pharm said it launched the recall after learning that two of the drugs it produces to treat heart disease -- Valsart F.C. Tab. 160mg tablets and Valsart F.C. 80mg tablets -- used Valsartan from China that was found to contain the carcinogenic chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

The manufacturer of the tainted Valsartan was Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (????????), which supplies raw materials to some Taiwanese pharmaceutical companies.

The recall is expected to be completed within a month, Standard Chem & Pharm said. It has also restarted production of the drugs using materials from another source that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The company assured patients taking the medicines that the incident will not affect its operations or the supply of the two drugs.

The company's shares rose 6.48 percent to close at NT$34.5 (US$1.135) on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Monday, while Yungshin Pharm shares ended unchanged from the previous close.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel