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What They Knew

Valsartan is an off-patent ingredient used to make generic medications that treat heart failure and high blood pressure. When the pharmaceutical companies changed their manufacturing process, it is believed that N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), an impurity thought to be a probable cancer-causing agent, contaminated the medication.

If you are currently taking a medication to treat your high blood pressure, the FDA recommends that you check your prescription to see if you are taking one of the following brands (However, DON’T stop taking your medication until you talk with your doctor.):

  • Major Pharmaceuticals and includes 40 mg, 80mg, 160mg, and 320mg; and Valsartan-HCTZ Tablets, 80mg/12.5mg, 160mg/12.5mg, 160mg/25mg, 320mg/12.5mg, and 320mg/25mg, within expiration dates from July 2018 to Jan. 2020.
  • Solco Healthcare and includes 40 mg, 80mg, 160mg, and 320mg; and Valsartan-HCTZ Tablets, 80mg/12.5mg, 160mg/12.5mg, 160mg/25mg, 320mg/12.5mg, and 320mg/25mg, within expiration dates from July 2018 to Jan. 2020.
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries and includes 40 mg, 80mg, 160mg, and 320mg; Valsartan-HCTZ Tablets, 80mg/12.5mg, 160mg/12.5mg, 160mg/25mg, 320mg/12.5mg, and 320mg/25mg, within expiration dates from July 2018 to October 2019.

If you are currently taking one of these recalled medications, the FDA advises that you DON’T stop taking it until you have a substitute medication that has not been recalled. Contact your pharmacy and your physician immediately if you are taking a recalled medication.

When They Knew It

Additionally, in a study published in December 2017, it was found that hydrochlorothiazide – the “HCTZ” listed in certain forms of the above medications along with valsartan – causes a seven times greater risk for skin cancer than similar medications that don’t contain this chemical. “We knew that hydrochlorothiazide made the skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays, but what is new and also surprising is that long-term use of this blood pressure medicine leads to such a significant increase in the risk of skin cancer,” says Anton Pottegård, Associate Professor, PhD, from the University of Southern Denmark, who is the initiator of the study.

One of our Periscope Group followers recently commented about how this drug may have impacted her mother’s health:

“My mom had squamous cell carcinoma [skin cancer] of the soft and hard palate of her mouth and underwent a maxillectomy [removal of all or part of the maxilla bone which is found in the facial region] this year. Her health has declined since that bad surgery when 3/4 of her palate was removed. This is usually diagnosed in smokers or tobacco dippers. My mother has never done either. Her doctor said this was unusual, but made excuses regarding that this was age related. I now know that HCTZ is the cause!!!!! She has taken it for at least 15 years. My mother has no other issues except colitis and age. This surgery made her so weak that she is no longer ambulatory at the level she was before.”

We are actively investigating these cases and are dedicated to keeping you informed as to the progression of this issue.

Blood Pressure Medication Warnings In The News

7/17/18: FDA Recalls Heart, Blood Pressure Medicines Due to Cancer-Causing Substance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting health care professionals and patients of a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan, which is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

This recall is due to an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which was found in the recalled products. However, not all products containing valsartan are being recalled.

Read Full Article

7/17/18: Veteran Worried About Recalled Drug Causing Cancer

A widely prescribed blood pressure medication is being pulled off shelves across the country over fears it could cause cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration voluntarily recalled the generic drug Valsartan. The three companies the FDA asked to recall it’s products are Major Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries.

A Bentonville veteran, Larry Boldra, has been taking the recalled medicine since his first heart attack in 2003. He’s now worried he’s left to choose between having another heart attack or possibly getting cancer…

Read Full Article

7/16/18: Blood Pressure Medication That May Contain Cancer-Causing Impurity Is Recalled

Several drug companies have recalled medications containing valsartan, an off-patent ingredient used in generic medications to treat heart failure and high blood pressure.

The companies blamed the recall on the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), an impurity thought to be produced because of changes in manufacturing that is classified as a probable cancer-causing agent.

The Food and Drug Administration issued an announcement about the voluntary recalls on July 13. Twenty-two other countries have also issued Varlsartan recalls.

Read Full Article

 

GET YOUR FREE Blood Pressure Medication CASE REVIEW TODAY

Blood Pressure Medication cases are now being reviewed, but there is a limited window to pursue help. If you think you, a friend, or a family member may qualify, get your free case review today… before it’s too late!

  • * Submit now to learn if you may be eligible for a cash settlement or call (800) 511-3838 now.

Our in-house legal counsel, Matthew J. Daher, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah and his law degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law. Matt has devoted his entire practice to civil litigation, and has spent his career representing the rights of individuals who have been injured by pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical malpractice, defective products, and motor vehicle accidents. As in-house counsel for Periscope Group, Matt leads our internal legal team and liaises with our external partners.

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LATEST ARTICLES

Biased and Falsified Studies: The Truth Behind Medical Research

Doctors need at least eight years of higher education and another seven years training in a residency and fellowship before they can really practice on their own in their field. That’s just one reason why we, as patients, put our trust – and quite literally our lives – in their hands.

Biased and Falsified Studies: The Truth Behind Medical Research

Drugs, treatments, diagnoses, and everything else that goes into treating our symptoms are quite complicated so we rely on their expertise to make us well. Unfortunately, this is also a business and like all businesses, there’s the motivation to make money. The lack of accountability and financial perks have created a serious conflict of interest between research doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the medical professionals who rely on these studies to address their patients.

Why You Should Care About Medical Study Research

Okay, I admit it: I never even thought about how drugs or medical devices were put on the market until recently. Like most people, I didn’t have the time to care and I also figured that’s what my doctor is for. But the deeper I dug, the more I learned that millions of people are getting injured – and are even dying – because drugs and medical devices aren’t being properly tested.

Here’s one example: transvaginal mesh (TVM) was never tested in a vagina before it was put into millions of women’s vaginas. Johnson & Johnson paid the inventor of TVM, Swedish obstetrician and gynecologist Ulf Ulmsten, $1 million to prove TVM’s safety and effectiveness. Who wouldn’t do everything they could to skew the results in their favor? Now hundreds of thousands of women are living with pain, have broken relationships, and suffer from other complications due to this bad medical device.

The Core Conflict

Doctors don’t have the time or funding to do the research themselves, so they rely on experts in their respective fields to test new drugs and medical devices and to report the benefits and risks so they can best treat their patients. Like the TVM example, many researchers are getting funding and kickbacks for publishing papers promoting a certain drug or medical device in medical journals or for speaking at conferences. The main problem is the lack of transparency on the part of many doctors who fail to disclose that they are funded by the pharmaceutical company.  The New York Times reported that, “Dr. Jeffrey R. Botkin, an associate vice president for research at the University of Utah, recently argued… that researchers should face misconduct charges when they do not disclose their relationships with interested companies. ‘They really are falsifying the information that others rely on to assess that research,’ he said. ‘Money is a very powerful influencer, and people’s opinions become subtly biased by that financial relationship.’”

We, as patients, need to demand more accountability and transparency in the medical world. Researchers need to disclose their relationship with pharmaceutical companies so our doctors can take the information with a grain of salt to fully understand the capabilities and risk factors for the treatments they are prescribing. The more products a company sells, the more money it makes. We should be treated with the drug or device that works best, not offers the biggest perk.


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Sources
“What These Medical Journals Don’t Reveal: Top Doctors’ Ties to Industry”. New York Times. Accessed December 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/health/medical-journals-conflicts-of-interest.html

4 Tips for Camp Fire Survivors to Help Replace Destroyed Items

When everything is lost, where do you even begin to start to replace what mattered most? This is the big question that victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise and other California fire survivors are asking themselves. While family heirlooms, childhood crafts, and other priceless items can’t be replaced, other favorite pieces can be with a little time and effort.

4 Tips for Camp Fire Survivors to Help Replace Destroyed Items

Our Call Center Manager, Laura, lost her family home in Paradise and is now helping her parents to rebuild what was lost. She has been busy reaching out to over 80 companies asking for a bit of generosity to replace items such as her dad’s barbecue, safe, and other valuable pieces. Some businesses have been amazing and have given the items for free or asked for just the cost of shipping while others have declined to even honor their warranties. (And just so you know, this post has two motives: 1) to advise you on how to ask companies for help and 2) to inform you of businesses who are compassionate and generous so we can continue to support them!)

2. Ask for a replacement item or a discount

Some people may think that your insurance is going to cut you a fat check to purchase everything you need, but usually they will cover only 50 – 75% of the initial costs, so a discount or free item is going to be incredibly appreciated. It may be helpful to mention that you have insurance, but it only covers a fraction of your losses. Also, a discount is better than nothing. We want to support these businesses who are willing to do what they can, not cause financial stress. Requesting a discount can help you to get what you need while also providing a way for the company to help without causes financial strain.

3. Explain the importance of the item in your letter

For Laura’s family, Sunday night barbecues were the highlight of the week. Her dad, Chris, was proud of his skills and he even created a designated spot with pavers to house his grill. Laura reached out to Weber and explained “every Sunday night in our family means barbecue, beer and football… family dinners revolve around BBQ.” Guess what happened? They offered Chris a 22” model for free. Maybe the item isn’t the exact one that you requested, but this was so generous on the part of Weber and it was a huge step in getting life back to normal for Chris.

4. Give as much information about the original product as you can.

A company is more likely to replace the item if you have proof of ownership and that you were personally affected by the fire (and not a scammer). Here is a great sample that Laura wrote:

My dad owned two toolboxes from Snap On and he has always been a Mr. Fix It type of guy. I wanted to reach out, because we just lost our family home in Paradise, CA to the Camp Fire and now his toolboxes and tools are destroyed. The toolboxes themselves are brittle and can not be fixed and all the tools inside are melted together.

I wanted to see if there was any way I could get a discount to re order him at least one of the toolboxes. Unfortunately, their insurance is going to take months, maybe even years to pay out and I can’t afford to replace the toolboxes and tools myself at full price. If you could place just let me know I would really appreciate it.

I have attached photos of the toolboxes that I believe he had. I also attached before and after photos of our home in Paradise. You can see the toolboxes standing right in the middle of the ashes behind the garage door in the after photo.

Physically everyone made it out okay, but what remains of the place we all called home is devastating. I would really appreciate anything you can do to help out my family. Thank you so much in advance for your time.

 

Out of the 80+ companies that Laura has contacted, only four have responded. If you need a barbecue or custom made sign, please support Weber barbecues and Second to None Fabrication. These companies were awesome and we would love to see them rewarded for their generosity.

Those on Santa’s Naughty List? Snap-on Tools, KA_BAR knives, and Sentry Safe. On Sentry Safe’s website, they even state that, “Should your safe go through a fire, SentrySafe will send a replacement safe free of charge, so the things that matter most are protected for generations to come.” Not only would the above companies not replace the items, but they also refused to offer a discount.

It’s going to take time to contact businesses, but it may be worth the effort to start getting your life back together. We also hope that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the compassion and kindness you’ll find.

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

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© All Rights Reserved • 2017 • Periscope Group, 4155 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Suite 100, Danville, CA 94506 Legal Disclaimer

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