Valsartan is a generic drug used to treat people with high blood pressure, heart failure or both. On July 13th and 17th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall from some drug makers because an impurity was found in their valsartan products.
Valsartan is used to treat health problems that must have regular care from a doctor. For that reason, people taking a recalled valsartan drug should ask the doctor if they should keep taking the drug until a new one is filled.
Not all products with valsartan are being recalled, but other drug makers are also recalling their products just in case. To find out if a drug has been recalled, people taking a valsartan drug should check with the pharmacy where they got the drug filled.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and HMO Louisiana, Inc. cover other drugs that are used to treat the same health problems as valsartan. We have given a list of several covered drugs to our network doctors. Members taking a recalled valsartan drug should check with their doctors about other covered drugs such as candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, telmisartan and others.
We will follow this issue and work to meet our members’ needs. Blue Cross members who have Express Scripts pharmacy coverage may learn more at www.express-scripts.com or call the toll-free Pharmacy number on their ID cards. To read the FDA notice about valsartan, go to www.fda.gov.
Valsartan and Valsartan HCTZ Recall Facts and FAQs
What does this mean?
- A drug recall is the most effective way to protect the public from a defective or potentially harmful product. A recall is a voluntary action taken by a company at any time to remove a defective drug product from the market.
Which drug makers are part of the recall?
- This recall only affects products containing valsartan or valsartan with hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and from the manufacturers Actavis, Solco Healthcare, Major Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
- Valsartan or valsartan with hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) manufactured by Camber and Alembic are NOT part of this recall.
How to find out if your drug is included:
- To find out if a drug has been recalled, people taking a valsartan drug should check with the pharmacy where they got the drug filled.
Should I stop taking a drug that may be recalled?
- No one should stop taking a drug without talking to a doctor first. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that people who have a recalled valsartan drug should continue taking it until they have a new supply unless otherwise directed by their doctor.
What do I do if I take this drug?
- Your pharmacist may be able to provide you with valsartan made by another company. If not, contact your doctor immediately to discuss other treatment options.
- Your doctor can recommend other options, which may include another valsartan drug product not affected by this recall or an alternative treatment option.
- Because not all drug products with valsartan are being recalled, your next refill will be filled using a product from a manufacturer that is not included in this recall.
Do you cover other drugs like valsartan?
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and HMO Louisiana Inc. do cover other drugs that are used to treat the same health problems as valsartan.
- Members taking a recalled valsartan drug should check with their doctors about other covered drugs such as candesartan, irbesartan, losartan, telmisartan and others.
How can I learn more?
- We have given a list of several covered drugs to our network doctors. We will also mail a letter to members who may have filled a recalled drug based on our claims data.
- If you have additional questions, please visit the FDA’s website at www.fda.gov. Blue Cross members who have Express Scripts pharmacy coverage may find more at www.express-scripts.com.
- If you have been affected by this recall, please call the Pharmacy number on your ID card or we can connect you to Express Scripts, our pharmacy benefit manager.
Report health problems from this drug:
- You can report any adverse events or quality problems you have had from taking valsartan to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Events Reporting Program.
Online: Visit www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch and click Report a Problem