» More blood pressure medication recalled due to possible cancer risk
» Blood pressure medication recalls: Everything you should know, Atlanta doctors, experts say
» Two more blood pressure medications recalled over cancer concerns
In addition to irbesartan, the drugs valsartan and losartan were found to contain trace amounts of cancer causing impurities. These impurities were traced to factories in China and India that make valsartan ingredients and ship them to generic drug companies throughout the world.
The FDA inspects foreign factories that make drugs for U.S. companies. It was during these inspections the FDA discovered unacceptable levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA. Further testing revealed the presence of N-Nitrosodiethylamine, or NDEA, in batches of valsartan.
The majority of the recalled drugs were produced in the Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical factory in Linhai, China, USA Today reported, and the FDA issued an import alert, preventing its drugs from being shipped to the United States.
"We still don't understand the complete root cause of this problem," Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told USA Today. "I would think these recalls would start dropping off now."