‘Losartan recall does not include NMI’

Theodore Parker has assured that patients in the CNMI are not affected by the recent recall of several hypertension drugs in the U.S. mainland. The Food and Drug Administration have ordered the recall of Losartan and other hypertension medicines due to contamination.

Valsartan, Amlodipine, Irbesartan, and hydrochlorothiazide were the other blood pressure maintenance medications that are included in the FDA recall due to being contaminated with the organic chemicals N-Nitrosodimethylamine and N-nitrosodiethylamine.

Both chemicals, according to fortune.com, are classified as possible human carcinogens.

NDMA is an industrial processing byproduct while NDEA is used to make liquid rocket fuel and is also a byproduct of fish processing and pesticide manufacturing.

“Fortunately, for us, we don’t carry the manufacturer of the same drug [losartan] here in the CNMI. Not for this particular product and we carry a different manufacturer, so it is all good. So, for our patients here, it is perfectly safe,” Parker told Saipan Tribune after Tuesday’s public hearing at the Senate chamber on Capital Hill.

Parker, who is a pharmacist and owns Brabu Pharmacy, has been re-appointed for another four-year term to the CNMI Board of Professional Licensing/Health Care Professions Licensing Board. The Senate Executive Appointments and Government Investigations committee, chaired by Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz (R-Tinian), oversaw the public hearing.

Parker said the recall process begins when an agency or distributor files a report with the FDA. “The FDA will then investigate and they will determine the feasibility of the product in question, and if there’s an issue.”

“After that, it is only then that they would release a recall. Drug recalls are very quick, depending on the type of recall. Sometimes there’s a contaminant within the bottle, sometimes the tablets are misshapen, and sometimes there are more ingredients in there that should be.”

He added that they quickly inform CNMI patients of any problems regarding medications here. “If pharmacies have this product, they have to call all of their patients that have the said medicine and have them sent back. They have to give it back, if it is that bad.”

Parker welcomed his re-appointment as it would ensure the continuation of some of the projects that they have implemented or are planning to execute. “We’re busy. There are a lot of things coming down the pipeline. There’s a lot of things that we’ve started that I really like to see through. …Obviously, whenever there’s a change, pet projects have a tendency to be left behind for the new person’s projects. So, there’s some regulations that we’ve been working on and I just want to see it through to the end, and make sure it gets implemented,” said Parker.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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