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Big Pharma multinational Pfizer is recalling five batches of a prescription drug meant to treat high blood pressure because the pills contain a potential cancer-causing agent.
In an announcement shared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer described the recall as voluntary.
Accupril (generic name Quinapril) is the drug that is being shelved in limited quantities because of the presence of a nitrosamine apparently above acceptable levels. The product lots went into distribution in the U.S. and Puerto Rico from December 2019 to April 2022. Accupril also addresses heart failure.
The five specific lots with specific identification numbers are in 90-count bottles, with strengths of 10, 20, or 40 milligrams.
Pfizer, which also produces one of the COVID-19 vaccines, insisted that the drug has a 30-year safety profile, and to date, it “is not aware of reports of adverse events that have been assessed to be related to this recall. Pfizer believes the benefit/risk profile of the products remains positive based on currently available data.”
The medication belongs to a family of drugs known as ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors.
In an explanation of the compound that has come under scrutiny, Pfizer explained that “Nitrosamines are common in water and foods, including cured and grilled meats, dairy products and vegetables. Everyone is exposed to some level of nitrosamines. These impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels over long periods of time.”
Although Pfizer said that there is “no immediate risk” to patients who are on the drug, the company also suggests patients discuss alternative options with their doctor.
In general, Accupril is reportedly designed to relax or widen blood vessels, thereby enabling blood to flow more easily and reducing the heart’s workload.
Pfizer also recalled three batches of the same medication in Canada for the same reason. “A person taking a drug that contains this impurity at or below the acceptable level every day for 70 years is not expected to have an increased risk of cancer,” government agency Health Canada asserted.
“Pfizer last month also recalled some batches of another blood pressure drug Accuretic and two authorized cheaper versions due to the presence of the possible carcinogen,” Reuters reported.
Unrelated to the recall, Accupril’s side effects can include dizziness, light-headedness, or fatigue, according to WebMD. Nausea or vomiting, along with a dry cough, can also occur.
Back in January, Pfizer’s CEO floated the idea of an annual COVID-19 vaccination.
Pfizer CEO ‘hoping’ for ease of ‘once-a-year’ Covid-19 vaccine, says repeated boosters ‘not a good scenario’ https://t.co/SOfHR3uOSn
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) January 23, 2022
After raking in $37 billion from the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 alone, Pfizer has projected 2022 revenue of $32 billion for the COVID shot this year, CNBC reported.
It also expects to earn $22 billion from an antiviral coronavirus pill known as Paxlovid.
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