This week, pharmacists from Alberta have to face a big challenge. They are running out of chronic drugs, so it’s getting harder and harder to offer patients proper substitutes for their heart problems. This situation is the unwanted consequence of a massive recall happening because of suspicions that certain medications might contain a carcinogen.
Patients who suffer from heart diseases are living hard times in Alberta nowadays. Recently, Health Canada has drawn back from pharmacies every treatment containing a substance known as impure and that may cause cancer if it’s used on long-term.
The controversial element, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) can be found in drugs containing valsartan and it’s often used to prevent heart attacks and strokes by treating high blood pressure. The medications containing valsartan are supplied by the Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals and after their removal, it looks like pharmacists are having a hard time in trying to find a suitable replacer.
Chronic patients are highly affected by this situation
Health specialists are confronted with a difficult situation. They know that patients need their medication, but they cannot prescribe any replacer because nothing is available on the market. Pharmacists were not prepared for this situation and are not sure what to tell people who came and ask for an advice.
The Canada Health department declares that it is compulsory for patients to stay on their medication, but in case they need to switch their prescriptions the best idea is to check with their doctors or pharmacists first. However, Canada is currently facing a drug shortage, therefore viable and available replacements are hard to find.
In this case, patients are affected by two problems: the disease and the fact that they cannot control it because of this medication recall and shortage. Authorities are trying to find a solution as soon as possible.