A chemical compound, known as azidomethyl biphenyl tetrazole (AZBT), is a recognized mutagen, which implies it has the potential to increase an individual’s risk of developing cancer over an extended period of repeated exposure.
Dr. Narong Aphikulvanich, the Executive Secretary-General of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), shed light on this issue in a recent press conference. He reported that an in-depth investigation discovered that Irbesartan, a frequently used medication, was found to engage with AZBT in an alarming 42 batches. These contaminated batches were produced by five distinct pharmaceutical manufacturers, explicitly outlined in an appended table.
Despite these findings, Dr. Aphikulvanich was firm in his assurance that Irbesartan sourced from separate batches or alternate manufacturers continues to remain safe for consumption. He reiterated the FDA’s commitment to the health and safety of its consumers, evidenced by rigorous inspections of all Irbesartan-producing manufacturers and extensive lab testing of samples by the Department of Medical Science. These measures were taken to validate that the medication remains free from contaminants, he clarified.
In response to these findings, the FDA mandated the immediate recall of all AZBT-tainted batches from the five identified manufacturers. Moreover, all healthcare providers, ranging from hospitals and clinics to pharmacies, have been officially notified to promptly remove these batches from their inventory if they are currently stocking these particular drugs.
Dr. Aphikulvanich also offered valuable advice for patients who have been prescribed Irbesartan. He advised such patients not to abruptly discontinue their dosage. He urged them to cross-check the batch of their current drugs with the list of identified contaminated batches. If they find their current supply in the affected list, they should immediately consult with their physician or pharmacist.
Vital further information can be sought from the FDA by reaching out through email at [email protected] or one can also ring up on their official contact number, 02-590-7405.