Several countries have now pulled the heart drug "valsartan" from shelves after news that certain batches supplied from China contained an impurity believed to be a a carcinogen. (IStock)

Heart drug valsartan update: Class-action request against drug companies

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Requests to launch a class-action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies over the heart drug valsartan have been filed in Canadian courts

Documents were filed late last week to request a national-class action, and in Montreal a similar request was filed for Quebec residents on Monday.

It was recently revealed the drugs to treat high blood pressure were sourced in China and contain traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which is a potential human carcinogen.

Charney Lawyers PC is leading the suit.

In a statement, Ted Charney said,  “It is horrifying that Canadians can never be sure what ingredients are going into their medication. We have no way of knowing where pharmaceutical companies are sourcing their ingredients, whether it is China or other countries around the world who may not have proper quality control measures in place. Maybe the time has come to identify the country of origin for drugs being sold to Canadians,”

Speaking to RCI, Charney said the drugs were ordered recalled in the United States but only pulled in Canada voluntarily by the drug companies after an advisory bulletin from the federal agency Health Canada warning of the presence of NDMA

Charney told RCI the the five companies involved have so far not released information on the levels of contaminant, nor the number of years the chemical was in their products, nor what the potential health implications are. He added they have also not offered any help for counselling for patients who have been taking the drug

Charney says the just-filed requests for a class-action suit already have over a thousand applicants, and he expects tens of thousands more.

He told RCI, several registrants already have cancer and are concerned that the drug may have caused the disease, while others are concerned about their chances of developing cancer in the future as a result of taking the drugs.

The proposed class action alleges that the five defendant pharmaceutical companies who supplied contaminated valsartan to Canadians across the country, were negligent in their manufacturing of the drugs and in their failure to implement appropriate quality control testing when they received raw material from their supplier in China.

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153 comments on “Heart drug valsartan update: Class-action request against drug companies
  1. kevin pinsonneault says:

    I’ll likely never see a dime and I’ve been taking valsartan for 10 years. I quit smoking to reduce my cancer risk and now this situation with valsartan.

  2. John Giddings says:

    I have been taking Valsarten for 15 years. I now have irregular heart beats due to this medicine. I also suffer stomach pains….itchy swollen skin…..etc. I would like to be added to this lawsuit and kept abreast of any progress.

  3. Julia Demkova says:

    My name is ZXXX DXX. My phone number is XXXXX. My mother has been taking Valsartan since 2012 and has developed multiple complications. It all started with the right upper abdominal pain and the blood work showing ALT and AST in the high levels. This is very unusual because my mother never drank or did any drugs in her life. After numerous tests, and her symptoms not going away- nausea, dizziness, water retention, weakness, jaundice, joint pain, constant severe RUA pain; the scans had revealed that she has a liver cyst and the diagnosis is Stage 4 Cirrhosis/Fibrosis and she had about 4 months to live, according to her doctor who told her about the results.
    I,(daughter), had to get involved and put her through more tests.
    The Tests had confirmed she had enlarged liver and the Four Stage Fibrosis.
    The liver is enlarged about the 3 cm – and the diagnosis is Hepatomegaly.
    My mother never drank in my life.
    She was prescribed medications for nausea and acid reflux.
    I am a Registered Nurse and willing to provide all of the documentation necessary for this case. Please let me know what else you need in order to proceed with this case.
    Thank you.
    My contact : Sincerely,Thank you.

    NOTE: IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA TO POST PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION ON ANY PUBLIC FORUM. TO JOIN THE CLASS ACTION PLEASE CONTACT THE LAW FIRM MENTIONED IN THE “UPDATE”

  4. Paul Chenier says:

    Re Sandoz valsartan

  5. Janis Preheim says:

    I took this med. Since 2000. Generic valsartan for 10 of those years. Having excess bladder leakage and bloating that had since improved. Although new meds. Took some time to find replacement. Spent 1300 dollars in ER bills. Till a med. Was found.

  6. Kim Reed says:

    My husband has been taking Valsartin for two years prior to the recall. My husband has an autoimmune disease called Sjogren Syndrome. Recently in July my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Lymphoma which is a blood cancer. My husband disease put him at a higher rate for getting cancer but I think the medicine guaranteed it. I would like to be apart of the class action suit.

  7. Shirley sharp says:

    I have been on Valsartan from 2001. (80 mg). for high blood pressure. IN 2010 I put on 320mg. This is the year I found I had stage 3 kidney disease. I didn’t know the side effect until 2010.
    Please add me to the class action suit.

  8. Shirley A. Dunbar says:

    I have been on Valsartan for about 9 years for high blood pressure. Two years ago, January 4, 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to have a bilateral mastectomy. Please add my name to this class action lawsuit.

    NOTE: TO BE INCLUDED YOU MUST PERSONALLY CONTACT THE LEGAL FIRM HANDLING THE CASE

  9. Shemeia Campbell says:

    I took Valsartan for years due to high blood pressure. 160/25 I now have high BUN and creatinine levels which impact my kidneys. I would like to be included in this class action suit.

    NOTE: TO BE INCLUDED YOU MUST PERSONALLY CONTACT THE LEGAL FIRM HANDLING THE CASE

  10. Ellen van Wijngaarden says:

    I have been on Valsartan 320 mg since Sept 19.2011 and have had breast cancer this year. I wish to be added to the class action lawsuit.
    Thank you.

  11. I have been on Valstatin for over 10 years for bello pressure. 5 years ago I had to have my thyroid removed due to cancer.I would appreciate to be included in the class action suit.

  12. Nancy Garnier says:

    I was on Valsartan for many years to treat high BP. I have COPD and am on oxygen. Other than that I had a pap, a mameogram, and a colonoskpi within the past year and a half. No cancer there. About a month ago my blood pressure pill was changed. An XRay last 6 weeks ago showed a little spot the ER Dr said was not there before. He called it a little pneumonia a follow up x Ray a week ago showed not cleared up recommend a follow up x Ray in 4 to 6 weeks. I am very concerned. I would like to join the class action suit as I fear this could be start of cancer and even if it is not the stress of repeating XRay and fearing the worst is hard on mean mentally and I was told by my respirologist stress is hard on my COPD and to avoid it. That’s hard to do under the circumstances.

  13. Emma martin says:

    I have been taking care of starting since 2004 and I have been told that I do have a kidney problem a chronic disease and I would like to be a part of the class action suit My email is xxxx @ xxx my address is xXXX

    RCI : PLEASE DO NOT POST PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET- IT IS A RISK TO YOUR PRIVACY

  14. Dale Zilinski says:

    I would like to register to be on this lawsuit have been taking valsartan 80 mg for 3 years

  15. JOY SAPP says:

    I HAVE BEEN ON VALSARTAN FOR 15 YEARS AND JUST HAD A CANCER REMOVED IN MARCH.I HAD BROKEN MY ARM AND HAD TO HAVE THE SURGERY CANCLED BECAUSE OF MY KIDNEY FUNCTION WAS TOO BAD. I BEEN TELLING MY HUSBAND THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH ME –I AM ANEMIC AND NO ENERGY AND JOINT PAINS. THERE ARE TIMES I COULD NOT PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF ANOTHER.I HAD GENETIC TESTING THAT PROVED THE CANCER DID NOT COME FROM MY FAMILY GENES. I FEEL THAT ALL THESE THING ARE CO ING FROM THIS MEDICATION. I DEFENATELY WANT TO BE PART OF THIS LAWSUIT.

    SINCERELY,
    JOY SAPP

  16. Misun Park says:

    I got the brain cancer Glioblastoma grade 4 because of valsartan.

  17. Brenda Fava says:

    I have been on Valsartan for 15 yeArs and had cancer in 2014 I would like to be a part of this law suit. Mine was sandoz valsartan 160 mg and then 320mg

  18. Emily Barnett says:

    I have been taking valsartan for years and now having problems with liver and kidney

  19. Amanda Korrine Darensbourg says:

    I have been taking this medicine for about 2 years and I have been,having a lot of health issues.. Gas and bloating swelling in my left rib cage.. After doing activities I have shortness of breath.. Don’t know the damage this medication has done to my body

  20. Anthony tost says:

    Had cancers three times and been on bad valsartan since it came out been cancer free but going for two year checkup will freak if it came back thinking it was from meds

  21. orton ker says:

    i was was also taking valsartan for a number of years and was taken off of it about a month ago. today i had to have a cystoscopy done as i’ve had blood in my urine. they found that i have a small, but ugly tumour in my bladder and must now have it removed asap. but, as usual, the doctors are all booked up for months. looks like our panama canal cruise in oct. might not happen now !!!

  22. Billy Mitchell says:

    I have been taking valsartan for several years an now I have irregular heartbeat I would like to be in this lawsuit

    RCI NOTE: CANADIANS SHOULD CONTACT THE LEGAL FIRM MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE IN ORDER TO BE PART OF ANY EVENTUAL LEGAL ACTION

  23. Pauline Frigault says:

    I have been taking Valsartan by Sivem since 2015 prior to that I was taking Diovan. I have been on blood pressure pills for over 29 years. I am 49. I have been experiencing all kinds of symptoms. My doctor did my blood work thinking it was my Iron but it came back normal. I’ve been feeling awful for a few years now with sleepless nights, Stomach pains, joint pains, numbness, tingling, burning, shortness of breath, palpitations, depression, bristling of my hair ,always feeling tired, and now kidney infection something I never had before) and always nauseated and often light headed and trouble to concentrate. For years, I’ve been feeling this way to a point that I felt that I was losing my mind. I have cried many times and thank God that I have a husband that is patient. I could not get answers to why I was feeling this way but I knew something was not right. In the last year it’s been getting much worse. I am having trouble doing my day to day job. Recently my doctor put me on a sick leave from work. When I found out about Valsartan recall, I had all sorts of mix emotions. Now it makes so much sense why I was feeling this way!! I was not losing my mind. This is not ok….. Their action has affected many lives in a very negative way. Greed and the mighty dollar on other people expense. That is very sad
    I want to be part of this Class Action, all the way.
    Sincerely,
    Pauline xxxx
    New-Brunswick

  24. Pauline Frigault says:

    I have been taking Valsartan by Sivem since 2015 prior to that I was taking Diovan.I have been on blood pressure pills for over 29 years. I am 49. I have been experiencing all kinds of symptoms. My doctor did my blood work thinking it was my Iron but it would come back normal.Ive been feeling awful for a few years now with sleepless nights, Stomach pains, joint pains, numbness, tingling,burning, shortness of breath, palpitations, depression, bristling of my hair ,always feeling tired,and now kidney infections and always nauseated. This is not ok for all of us.

  25. I have been taking Valsartin for several years and am concerned about the physical effects of the medicine since it has been recalled and would like to submit a request to become a claimant in the class action lawsuit. I hope as an American citizen that I am eligible. If I am not please provide me with information where I can seek legal help.
    Dennis xxxxx

    (xxx) xxx (cellular) (xxx) xxx(land)

  26. Please put me on the class action law suit. I have been on it for at least 12 years..

  27. Vera Tsotsos says:

    Please add me to your list as well. Just found out today about a possible recall of my thyroid meds as well for same reason! So now I have to worry about getting cancer from not 1 but 2 medications!

    RCI NOTE: CANADIANS SHOULD CONTACT THE LEGAL FIRM MENTIONED IN THE ARTICLE IN ORDER TO BE PART OF ANY EVENTUAL LEGAL ACTION.

  28. Ruth Chronik says:

    I have taken valsartan for 9 years . My doctor just switch me to something else now. I worry about getting cancer. Please put my name on the lawsuit. Thanks

    Ruth Chronik
    Calgary,AB
    4034534789

  29. darren miller says:

    Yes me and my wife have both been on valsartan for at least 10 years pls add oir names to the law suite

  30. michael jacobs says:

    i started taking diovan then they switched me to valstatarn been taking for 17 years plus having liver issues, memory,tired,confusion,been sending me for lots of blood work just had bone and bone marrow biopsey test done ,they dont know whats wrong with me then just found out about valstartan problems thanks

  31. Tammy MacDonald says:

    I have been taking valsartan for several years and in the pass couple year I have been having problems with irregular heart beats and heart attack symptons. Please add my name to the lawsuit.

  32. bev says:

    I have taken the medicine for the last 9 years or so is there a class action law suit in u.s

  33. John Giddings says:

    I have been taking Valsartan (the bad one) for 10 years and have developed an irregular heartbeat for the past several years. We were not notified by our mail order company (Humana) about the recall. My wife discovered the FDA recall by accident. Please add my name to the class action lawsuit.

  34. roger d widner says:

    I have been taking the blood pressure VALSARTAN AND HYDROCHLOROTHIAZISE 160mg/25mg—-(CAMBER ….NDC 31722-747-90—–VARLSARTAN TABLETS 160 mg)…for about 12 years or more…. I have not been check out yet…

  35. John Towne says:

    Just got a letter from Walgreen about Carcinogens in valsartan

  36. William Plue says:

    I have taken valsartan since 2015, and in April of 2017 I was diagnosed with Larnyx cancer. In June I started radiation for 25 treatments ending on July 21st. I still suffer from the side effects, but the Tumor is gone. Do I qualify for the class action suit?

  37. David Griffin says:

    I have been taking Valsartan for about 10 years.Dont we have enough to worry about. You try to do right with your health.

  38. kevin pinsonneault says:

    I’ve been taking valsartan for roughly 10 years. Now I have to worry about getting cancer . Like wow

  39. Sally Walker says:

    Hi. I was taking Valsartin, the one in question. I took it daily for17 years. Can you file on my behalf in the class action lawsuit please?
    Thank you.
    Sally Walker Brantford Ontario.
    5193041868

    sallymatthewwalker@gmail.com

  40. Mel Taylor says:

    I am completely furious to learn that I had been ingesting carcinogenic drugs every day for the last several years. I was horrified to learn that my drugs contained “industrial waste” and cadmium, a known carcinogen. So, the FDA finally did something and put out a recall for Valsartin after a lot of red flags. Drugs from China and India are just not safe. period. It is time for a class-action suit against the FDA, Medicare, and Novartis (I think this is company under whose patent for Valsartin is manufactured, and therefore has the responsibility to see to it that all possible safety measures and quality control are always in place.)

  41. robert outlaw says:

    I have all of the symptoms after taking valsartan drug,AFTER 10 MO’S I BEN TAKING THE DRUG, IT WAS WOURSE FOE ME BECAUSE I HAVE COPD, ALWASE FEELING TIRED NOT SLEEPING ITCHING PAINSS IN MY SIDES & JOINTS NUMBNESS SHORT OF BREATH PALAPATION BRITTLER HAIR DEPRESSION FULL AFTER EATING ANYTHING. SO PLEASE PUT ME ON THE LIST!!! PS THIS DRUG HAS BEN ON THE POURTY SENSE 2012,???

  42. Carrie McDowell says:

    I made a error on my reply. This medication stopped me from breathing! My chest was congested and my sides hurt really bad and I still have the pain in my sides . I couldn’t stop coughing. I was taken to Urgent care. Given a shot and started on medication. I am under the doctors care. I was started on this medicine this year. Never experienced pains like this before inmy sides and chested congestion. I pray my lungs and sides are ok. I was taking it for hypertension.

  43. Carrie McDowell says:

    I was started on Lor