Kenya Withdraws Ulcers Drug over Cancer Risk

Ranitidine banned
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The Ministry of Health, through Pharmacy and Poisons Board, has recalled the use of all ranitidine products from the Kenyan market following the realization that the drug contains impurities that are detrimental to human health.

Ranitidine is a popular medication that decreases stomach acid production commonly used in the treatment of peptic ulcer disease. The board issued a directive to pharmacies across the country to retrieve and quarantine all Ranitidine products sold in the Kenyan market. Some wholesalers have written to their clients to return all products purchased.

According to the Ministry of Health, ranitidine products are contaminated with an impurity known as Genotoxix N-nitrosodimenthylamine (NDMA) which is categorized as a probable human carcinogen as per the laboratory test results, meaning that it is cancer-causing.

“In order to safeguard the health of Kenyans, you are hereby instructed to carry out a level 2 recall of all ranitidine products from the Kenyan market,” a notice issued by Dr .F M Siyoi, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board Chief Executive Officer read

Pharmaceutical firms have been ordered to submit details of all the ranitidine products that have been imported into the country in the last three years including details of the dosage form, batch numbers, quantities imported, batch expiry dates, distribution details.

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