15 medicines containing the ingredient Valsartan which are distributed through the Pharmacy of Your Choice scheme for patients with high blood pressure, may be affected by an impurity which may cause cancer.
The Chairman of the Medicines Authority, Professor Anthony Serracino Inglott told TVM that the Maltese health authorities will be sourcing medicines from other companies.
Prof Serracino Inglott appealed to patients not to stop the medicines abruptly because this might lead to a stroke.
No less than 15 generic medicines which contain Valsartan, are being analysed in greater detail by the European Medicines Authority after it was found that they contain an impurity which may cause cancer. The Maltese authorities issued a warning about this on the weekend, while asking patients not to stop the medication themselves.
Prof Serracino Inglott said that investigations are still continuing on this matter.
“They found traces of impurities which may potentially cause cancer under certain circumstances, which right now are being throughly studied by the EMA.”
Prof Serracino Inglott warned of the consequences should this medicine be stopped abruptly as there are a considerable number of side effects, which are much worse than the impurity which the medicine may contain. He added that in these circumstances, doctors may subscribe prescriptions for alternative medicine for their patients.
“Patients should go to their doctors to find an alternative medicine. All efforts possible are being made to ensure that these other medicines will be in stock.”
He added that every decision is always taken in the best interest of patients.