Potentially cancer-causing hypertension drugs made in China are estimated to have been prescribed to around 180-thousand South Koreans.  

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said on Tuesday that 178-thousand-536 patients are believed to have received the hypertension drugs, whose production and sales were suspended last week. 

Last Friday, the European Medicine Agency(EMA) found the drugs made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical contain Valsartan, an ingredient that potentially contains the cancer-causing chemical, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and ordered a recall of the products. 

South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety also imposed a manufacturing and sales suspension on 115 drugs made with Valsartan. It also plans to recall the products to inspect the ingredients and their impact on the human body. 

The ministry is considering a field inspection to the Chinese company’s headquarters, if necessary, adding it will also refer to the ongoing investigation into the company’s production lines by Chinese authorities. 

[Photo : KBS News]