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Fourth Carcinogen Discovered in Heart Pills Used by Millions

June 18, 2019, 1:46 PMUpdated: June 18, 2019, 6:34 PM

An online pharmacy told U.S. regulators it found another cancer-causing chemical in widely prescribed blood-pressure pills, raising new questions about a complex global web of companies that produces medicine for millions of people.

A solvent called dimethylformamide was discovered in the drug valsartan made by several companies, including Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG, according to a filing last week to the Food and Drug Administration by New Haven, Conn.-based Valisure.

DMF, as the solvent is known, is classified by the World Health Organization as a probable carcinogen.

Dozens of forms of generic valsartan have been recalled since July 2018, when ...