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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159 comments on “Heart drug valsartan update: Class-action request against drug companies
  1. Avatar Shentoria A Richardson says:

    I have been on this medicine for about 20 years and I’m 40. I have been experiencing all of the symptoms like most of you all. Doctors had been thinking it was my potassium and iron but my blood work would come back normal. Been feeling awful for a while now with sleepless nights and long days. The constant itching, severe stomach pains, joint pains, numbness, tingling,burning, shortness of breath, palpitations, feeling full after eating anything, depression, brittling of hair,and breaking out of skin. I actually have every symptom. This is The only medicine I’ve been on for a while and the other medicines came as a result of. This is just not right. It’s hard for me to get a job due to my health conditions. So I’ve tried working from home and it’s very depressing. This must get better. This is not right.

  2. Avatar Jodie Booker Jr says:

    I live in New Jersey and have been taking Valsartan for several years. Please add me to the law suit

  3. Avatar Carla Sillin says:

    Same issues as others. I live in California, please add me to lawsuit.

  4. Avatar Emmanuel Dasilva says:

    I have been on valsartan for some time now…was feeling problems with my legs and palpitations which I never had before and more,,,scary to say the least…they just gave me Irbesartan…scary as well
    ps…I would like to be added to list and have info if possible through email

  5. Avatar Brandi Noelle Mills says:

    My mother is in stage IV cancer fight of her life. She has been on this for years. Please add us to the class action.

  6. Avatar JOAN MORTON says:

    I am interested in joining this class action lawsuit against the drug Valsartan. I know other people too that were on this medication. I am in the United States.

  7. Avatar Carmela Telechea says:

    My mother has been taking Valsartan for several year she is having having health issues now and we would like to add her to the lawsuit.

  8. Avatar Jay Ohanesian says:

    I’ve been on Valsartian for over 15 years same problems as many others are saying. I’m also in the US.

  9. Avatar Tammie Harji says:

    I have been taking Valsartan for several years and I’m having problems with my liver and my stomach and severe muscle and joint pain. Please add me to the lawsuit. I live in Georgia.

  10. Avatar Darlene sanchez says:

    I have been on valsartan for 5 years having alot of problems with my legs and hands and also pain in my stomach please add me to the lawsuit i am in texas

  11. Avatar Dennis yelton says:

    I am taking this medication also have been on it for 5 months and having similar symptoms with shortness of breath, pain up and down legs and arms, pain like a heart attack etc….. my vitamin B12 is down dr. Put me on vitamin B12. Doesn’t seem to be helping me. Would like to know what kind of symptoms are associated with this medication and what the long term out come will be for me taking this medication. I would like to be added to this law suit as well.

  12. Avatar Josephine Bell says:

    I have been taking Valsartan for three years and i be having shortness of breath and tinglings in my hands and legs. I would like to be added to this law suit. Thanks

  13. Avatar Brenda Christen says:

    I like many others have been affected by Valsartan, Diovan. I’ve taken it for over 15 years. I’ve had many symptoms, shortness of breath, tingling in arms legs, symptoms of a heart attack pains up and down my legs. When I wash my hair, it’s like a cancer patient, it comes out by the hand full and my hair has thinned out a lot. I told my Doctor that I felt bad and it was hard to describe my feelings. He put me on B 12 shots that really doesn’t help for long and I take vitamins like crazy

  14. Avatar Tracy Bernal says:

    I have taken Valsartan as well and I’m also afraid of what van happen I live in Oceanside ca please keep me posted.. Thank you very much

  15. Avatar Lauren Mattiace says:

    My father just recently passed away from rectal cancer August 2017. I just received a letter today about his Valsartan medications being a probable human carcinogen. We live in the US. Can we be added to this lawsuit?I am his daughter. His next of kin.

  16. I have been on Valsartan akaDiovan 320. Only blood pressure I have ever take about 20 years.Thank You Linda Hieneman’

  17. Avatar Shirley Lowther says:

    I have been prescribed Valsartan. I have taken it for three years. I want to know what symptoms to watch for? Add me to the class action suit.

  18. Avatar Sara Price says:

    I live in Texas and I am very worried about having taken this drug. I want to know if I can join in any lawsuit against the makers of Valsartan. It is frightening to me not knowing if I have cancer or will I get it from this drug. I am sick of big pharma and doctors getting over on people by peddling their tainted drugs.

  19. Avatar Paul Duran says:

    I have been taking this medication for years and am wondering what the side effects or long-term ramifications will be to my body. Heard it can promote cancer.

  20. Avatar Vicky Cassady says:

    I live in Texas. I have been on Diovan (never heard about lawsuit in 2010). I have been on Diovan and Valsartin for years. I have multiple diagnosis of side effects, symptoms and hospital admissions. I want to pursue lawsuit 100%.

  21. Avatar Vicky Cassady says:

    I live in Texas. I have been on Diovan and then Valsartin for many years. Now recently changed to Losartin. I have had years of multiple medical problems and hospital admissions. I believe are connected to these 2 drugs. I want to pursue this 100%.

  22. Avatar James Weller says:

    I have been taken this medication for years. Please add me if there is a lawsuit made against this company.

  23. Avatar Hayley sul says:

    Please keep me updated on this matter. My valsartan has now been switched to irbesartan

  24. Avatar Erwin L Wood says:

    I have been taking DIOVAN change to the generic VALSARTAN for at least 25 years. Will there be a CLASS ACTION SUIT in the USA ? And also i was told that 90% of MEDICATION drugs are being made in CHINA .And the BIGGEST company in CHINA that made this is ZHEJIANG HUAHAI PHARMACEUTICAL CO.,LTD XUNQIAO LINHAI ZHEJIANG 317024 CHINA .And like everything in the states what we buy that we put into our bodies MUST HAVE THE INGREDIENTS ON THE PRODUCT .!!!!!

  25. Avatar pamela ruffin says:

    I took diovan and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had to have it removed

  26. Avatar Craig Harguth says:

    Hello, my name is Craig Harguth and live in Portland Oregon. I have recently been taken off of Valsartan due to the recall, which I have been on for quite a while, they replaced it with Irbesartan which alone gives me nasty side affects.

    I have been reading the articles about the hazards with Valsartan and I am quite concerned over the potential side affects any information about the class action suit you can provide would be appreciated, and if there is any information I can provide please let me know.

    Craig Harguth
    thejuj48@aol.com

  27. Avatar Beatrice Mason says:

    I have taken this medication a long time and wondering can I file a lawsuit against this medication!

  28. Avatar Dorthea Funches says:

    I’m a patient who has been taking the medication valsartan for over a year now and it’s driving me nuts not knowing what is going on with me far as this medicine please I need help I don’t want to die my blood pressure is low most of the time breaking out

    • Avatar Tammie says:

      Hi , has your skin been breaking out ? I’ve been on Valsartan for several years and I’m having problems with my liver , my skin , shortness of breath , severe muscle and joint pain also.

  29. Avatar Vicki perog says:

    I have been taking valsartan for many years due to high blood pressure please add me to your lawsuit

  30. Avatar Maria Sarabando says:

    I have been taking Valsartan for over 20 years.I have had many health issues without knowing the cause. I am furious.

    PLEASE add me to your lawsuit

  31. Avatar Lynda Luttrell says:

    I have been taking sandoz-valsartan 160 MG for years.
    Please add my name to the class action law suit.

  32. Avatar William W Whiteside says:

    I am effected by the Valsartan recall. If you have a class action US lawsuit that you know of, please let me know.

  33. Avatar Andrew Saenz says:

    I also have been taking valsarton 320 mg for a while now but recently noticied a big change. I have lots of pain in my leg i have trouble climbing stairs i loose my balance i have cronic pains i cant sleep. My right side of my stomach is always in pain, i itch from my face my right hand tingles and i have lots of mucus. Im going to the dr today to see. What i can do . ive also noticed very bad depression and light headedness i have trouble seeing out when the sun is out. Please add me to your list i want to be a part.

  34. Avatar Donna Pusey says:

    I would like to join this suit as I do have health issues and have been on this drug April 2014. Any company that would knowinfly put people at risk is disgusting and should b shut down.

  35. Avatar Diana Brunt says:

    I have been taking the medication valsartan 160mg for many years and is wondering what is my chances of getting cancer now I am not getting any answers about how long this contaminate has been in the medication I have been taking.

  36. Avatar Larry Sexion says:

    I have been taking this drug for years i would like to be added to the class action lawsuit

  37. Avatar Sandra Lazure says:

    I have been taking Valsartan for many years I want to join in on the class action..

  38. Avatar Bennie Bogard, Sr. says:

    I have been using valsartin 320 mg. for over 7 yrs. I am not in good health. I would like my name added to the class action suit.

  39. Avatar Conard Halsey says:

    I’ve been on valsartan 80 mg for years i had postrate cancer an now i have bladder cancer yes i want on class action list

  40. Avatar Theresa Acosta says:

    I have been with Sandoz-valsartan 40 mg from june 2016 till may 2018 and im only on my 40’s.
    I want to be a part od this class action

  41. Avatar walter lee says:

    i have been taking sandoz-valsartan 80mg for over 3 years after my stroke ,but wish to have my name added to the class-action.

  42. Avatar Gérald Savoie says:

    I’ve been using valsartan for years
    If there is a class action I want to be part of it.

  43. Avatar Helen heinz says:

    I have been on Valsartan for many years.
    I must check how many but at least 21 years.
    I have been diagnosed with 2 forms of ca.

  44. Avatar Joan Hertz says:

    My health was not improved with diovan

  45. Avatar Darcy Kisilowsky says:

    I have been on Valsartin 80mg for over ten years.In the last several years I have had two heart attacks a year and a half apart and four stents.I have also had skin cancer removed on a regular basis.Now I am having bladder and kidney issues.I don’t know if the last two are related but it has been current in the last two years…if there is a Class action Law suit I want to be apart of it…Also I have been told to continuing to take it…it’s a no win situation.

  46. I have been on Valsartan for the last 7 years. In March I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and undergoing treatments since. Please add my name to the class action suit.

  47. Avatar latrisha mcshan says:

    please add me to the case i’ve been on Diovan for some years and im having all kinds of health problems from passing out spells coughs and so on so much more

  48. Avatar LATRISHA MCSHAN says:

    IVE BEEN TAKING THE MEDICTION FOR OVER THREE YEARS AND MY HEART FLUTTERS AND I HAVE RAPID HEART BEATS.LOW ENERGY AND WEAKNESS IN MY LEGS AND ARMS WHEN WALKING UPA FLIGHT OF STAIRS MY HEART BEATS FAST AND I BE SO WEAK I STAY THIRSTY I HAVE DIZZY SPELLS AND BE ABOUT TO PASS OUT ESPICALLY WHEN I COUGH HARD I BE ABOUT TO PASS OUT I ALMOST PASSED OUT THE OTHER DAY AND MY CHILD HAD TO CATCH ME I HAVE HEADACHES TINGLING IN MY HANDS AND FEET AND PAIN IN MY KNEE JOINT I TOLD MY DOCTOR ABOUT IT AND SHE TOOK ME OFF OF IT A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO IVE ALSO HAD A COUGH THAT HAS LASTED FOR SOME YEARS I ALSO HAVE POBLEMS WITH MY SINUS SOMETIMES THE COUGH IS DRY AND SOMETIMES WITH MUCUS I JUST KNOW THIS IS WHY IM HAVING ALL THESE PROBLEMS OH YEAH I ASKED MY DAUGHTER THE OTHER DAY DO MY EYES LOOK PUFFY AND SHE SAID YES AND I ASKED MY OTHER DAUGHTER TODAY DO MY EYES STILL LOOK PUFFY BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME MY FACE ITCHES SO BAD ALSO I KNOW IVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THIS DRUG BECAUSE IVE BEEN TAKING IT FOR SO LONG I DONT HAVE ENERGY TO DO MUCH OF ANTHING IT TAKES ME SO LONG TO CLEAN UP I HAVE TO STOP AND START BACKIT TAKES ME ALL DAY TO CLEAN EVEN IF I FINISH THAT DAY IF ANYONE ELSE HAVE THESE SYSTEMS PLEASE LET ME KNOW

  49. Avatar Hussein says:

    I have been taking Valsartan 80 mg for 3 years made by Sandoz and also been taking another drug called valsartan hydrochlorotiazide 160 mg – 12.5 for 13 years but was told by my family doctor to stop only the Valsartan 80 mg orange pills the one was recalled from the time I started taking these medications I started having difficulties breathing, itching and sometimes problems with swallowing even water not just food, and numbness in my feet and arms and pain in the back of my neck and chest pain . The last two and a half years when I started taking the Valsartan 80 mg which was on recall list the orange pills I started getting more problems in my health the things i am talking about and even my voice started to change sometimes.