Pfizer recalls high blood pressure drug after chemicals that can cause cancer found

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The reason why they have recalled the drug is because it has been found to contain chemicals that cause cancer.

While it may seem surprising Pfizer would sell a drug with carcinogenic compounds such as nitrosamine in this case, sometimes companies only discover these problems after the product has gone on sale.

The problem was discovered last month.

The issue affects five batches of pills containing 90 bottles each.

Pfizer has urged any doctor or pharmacist who handled the shipments to contact them immediately.

The recall doesn’t affect the UK as the drugs were distributed in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Pfizer described their decision to recall the drugs as voluntary, meaning this is not something the company has been ordered to do.

Nitrosamines, although an unfamiliar name to many, are non-cancerous in small doses.

In a statement Pfizer described nitrosamines as “common in water and foods, including cured and grilled meats, dairy products and vegetables”.

“Everyone is exposed to some level of nitrosamines. These impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels over long periods of time”.

Furthermore, it was added by Pfizer it had not received any reports of incidents related to the drug and there was no immediate risk to patients.

This is Pfizer’s second recall in six weeks, earlier this month they had to recall Accuretic, another blood pressure drug due to high levels of nitrosamine.

Meanwhile, the drug in question, Accupril, works by decreasing the levels of chemicals that cause blood vessels to narrow.

In common with other drugs Accupril can cause other side effects including:
• Muscle and joint pain
• Sensitivity to light
• A dry cough
• Dizziness.

The full list of side effects will be listed on the leaflet accompanying each packet of medication.

Alongside concerns of carcinogens in its medications, Pfizer has also received criticism from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In this case their criticism was levelled at Pfizer’s pricing of the Covid anti-viral Paxlovid.

The WHO said in statement it: “strongly recommends that Pfizer make its pricing and deals more transparent and that it enlarge the geographical scope of its licence so more generic manufacturers may start to produce the medicine and make it available faster at affordable prices”.

Paxlovid was recently approved for patients with mild to moderate symptoms after it was found to reduce hospitalisations by 85 percent.

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