IPOH, March 30 — Patients who still have stock of the high blood pressure medicines containing the active ingredient losartan, are advised not to panic and to return them to the suppliers, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
He said the suppliers were stopped from selling the medicines effective March 7, after the Ministry of Health suspended the registration of seven drug products which contained the substance.
“When consumed over a long period, the medication can be a carcinogen, but it is of no health threat when used for a short term. Those who have been on it, need not panic, just return them to the suppliers to have them replaced with other alternatives.
“By right the suppliers should no longer have stock of the products as we have recalled all the old stocks,” he told reporters after launching the state-level World Kidney Day celebrations at Meru here today.
The seven products which have been suspended are LOSAGEN 50 (Losartan Potassium Tablets 50mg); LOSAGEN 100 (Losartan Potassium Tablets 100 Mg); Losartas 50mg Tablets (Losartan Potassium Tablets 50mg); Losartas 100mg Tablets (Losartan Potassium Tablets 100mg).
Also in the list are TOZAAR PLUS LS 50/12.5mg Tablet (Losartan Potassium/ Hydrochlorothiazide); Tozaar 50mg Tablet (Losartan Potassium Tablets 50mg) and Tozaar 100mg Tablets (Losartan Potassium Tablets 100 mg).
Yesterday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement said the products with the active substance losartan from Hetero Labs Limited, India were suspended in Malaysia since March 7, 2019.
Elaborating, Dr Lee said the ministry was constantly monitoring and collaborating with foreign agencies on medicines marketed in the country.
In another development, Dr Lee, who is also Gopeng Member of Parliament, said the ministry has identified over 3 million people aged 50 and above who are eligible for the B40 Health Protection Scheme (PekaB40) to be launched next month.
“For the initial stage we have allocated RM100 million for 800,000 participants. If the response is good we will increase the allocation,” he said. — Bernama