CVS Health Corp. (NYSE:CVS) is to discontinue sales of the Zantac heartburn treatment and its own generic products with the same active ingredient, ranitidine in them from its pharmacies, the US retailer said at the weekend.
The move comes after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said earlier this month that some of the pills contained small amounts N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen, which has also been found in some widely used blood pressure medicines.
In a statement, CVS said the move to suspend over-the-counter sales of the popular heartburn drug was taken out of caution while the FDA continues to review if low levels of NDMA in ranitidine poses a health risk to patients.
The retailer noted that Zantac brand products and CVS brand ranitidine products have not been recalled, and the FDA is not currently recommending that patients stop taking ranitidine.
Last week Sandoz, a unit of Swiss drugs giant Novartis said it was halting distribution of Zantac in all its markets, including the United States and Canada, following safety review of the drug by US and European drug regulators.
GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) - the original makers of Zantac - is also reported to have stopped distributing its generic version of the drug and recalled its products from India and Hong Kong, according to a report on the BBC’s website.
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