(Yicai Global) July 16 -- Chinese drugmaker Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical is recalling products sold in the United States and halting sales in the region after the European Medicines Agency found an active ingredient in them could cause cancer.
The firm announced the voluntary recall yesterday after talking with the US Food and Drug Administration. It had already published a string of statements saying it would cooperate with domestic and foreign customers around the world over the past 10 days.
The EMA said on July 5 that an investigation into valsartan, an ingredient in medication used to treat high blood pressure, showed the drugs made by Huahai contained a carcinogen named N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA. The agency is still testing medicines and many European countries have already recalled the drug.
Huahai has said it is unable to determine how much it will lose from the recall, but its own data shows that sales of valsartan, which is mostly sold to North America, Europe, India, Russia and South America, totaled CNY328 million (USD49 million) last year, compared with total revenue of CNY5 billion (USD749 million). Its share price [SHA:600521] closed down nearly 7.1 percent at CNY21.78 (USD3.26) today, after rising for most of last week.
Huahai customer Harbin Medisan Pharmaceuticals has also recalled valsartan dispersible tablets made using Huaihai ingredients.
Editor: James Boynton