Return 7 types of high blood pressure medicine, urges health ministry

PETALING JAYA: Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye today called on patients to return seven types of high blood pressure medication containing Losartan to suppliers.

The seven types of medication are Losagen 50, Losagen 100, Losartas 50mg tablets, Losartas 100mg tablets, Tozaar Plus LS 50/12.5mg tablets, Tozaar 50mg tablets and Tozaar 100mg tablets.

In a report in The Star, Lee said his ministry had shelved the medication since early March when a statement to recall the medicine was released.

“Do not panic if you have consumed the medications, as there are no short-term effects.

“But in the long run, there is a potential human carcinogen risk due to the substance in the medications,” he told reporters after launching the state-level World Kidney Day celebrations here.

Lee also said the returned medication can be exchanged with the supplier for other approved medication.

He warned suppliers that stern action would be taken if they are found to be selling any of the prohibited medication.

On another matter, Lee predicted that dialysis patients would increase from 39,000 this year to 50,000 next year.

He said the government had spent RM1.6 billion on dialysis at the ministry’s facilities in 2016 and the cost has been a burden to the government and patients.

“From the figures, 33% of patients received treatment at government facilities, 47% at private hospitals, and another 20% at NGOs.

“For non-profit organisations, the government provides a RM200,000 grant to build a haemodialysis centre,” he said.

Lee said an aid of RM100 per dialysis treatment is given to poor patients at such centres.

He also said more people have been coming forward to do medical examinations and this could be a reason behind the increase in number of dialysis patients.

“It is very important to get early medical checks done regularly to prevent and treat diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure and to reduce the risk of renal failure.”

He urged the public to lead a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet to prevent serious illness from occurring.