My father is a heart patient and as a result he has to take blood pressure medications as well on a daily basis. Recently the newspapers have been flooding with somewhat disturbing news of notice issued by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to a number of pharmaceutical companies to recall high blood pressure medicines. For those who are not aware of it, Valsartan is an active ingredient used in hypertension medicines which is sourced from different parts of the world. 

The questioned active ingredient used in the medicine is said to have been imported from a Chinese source which is contaminated with a cancer causing impurity called N-Nitroso. This for me, as a concerned daughter, is highly alarming. The first thing I did was check from the list issued by DRAP whether the medicine used by my father was among those contaminated with impurity. Then I looked up the approved list of medicines by the originator brands and informed my parents about it as well. This needs to be taken up on a high priority basis as a number of patients simply purchase the easily available local medicines and are not aware of the repercussions. It goes without saying that there needs to be significant check and balance on the regulator’s end as well because manufacturers are callously playing with the lives of patients and they need to be stopped. 


Karachi, July 31.