Following United States-based online pharmaceutical seller Valisure’s intimation that it had found cancer-causing substances in the drug Zantac, drug maker Sanofi asking for the medicines to be recalled in the US and Canada.
Sanofi has been selling Zantac in the two countries as a retail remedy (one that can be obtained without prescription) to cure heartburn, beginning in 2017. Sanofi, a French company, has, however, assured the move is temporary while it works with health officials to ascertain the extent of the problem.
The company’s chief executive officer (CEO) Paul Hudson, who met with reporters on 15th October, in the US, said, “We don’t believe there’s a risk. But we have to – and are appropriately duty-bound to – satisfy the regulators, which we will do, and we’ll move on from there.
Zantac is one of the generic names of the medicine Ranitidine. Ranitidine is said to contain a carcinogenic agent called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Other drug makers who are involved in the production of Ranitidine, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis have already taken steps to address the problem.
Production of the drug has been entirely stopped, and in case of the drugs reaching the pharmacies, they have been recalled by the companies. Certain pharmaceutical stores including Walmart and Rite Aid Corp have altogether stopped selling ranitidine in their premises.
Apart from Ranitidine, certain other medications including those used to treat blood pressure and heart failure have been reported to contain carcinogenic components.