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Carcinogen Scare Sets Off Global Race to Contain Tainted Zantac

Sept. 18, 2019, 3:11 PMUpdated: Sept. 18, 2019, 8:13 PM

Drugmakers and global public-health regulators are taking steps to remove supplies of a popular heartburn medication that may have become tainted with a cancer-causing agent from the market.

Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit said Wednesday that it was halting worldwide distribution of generic versions of the stomach drug Zantac, just days after regulators in the U.S. and Europe began investigating the discovery of a likely human carcinogen called NDMA, or N-Nitrosodimethylamine, in the medications.

Some versions of Zantac, which is also known by the generic name ranitidine, have also been recalled in Europe and Canada as well.

The moves are ...