Gov’t looks into diabetes drugs for NDMA presence

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Gov’t looks into diabetes drugs for NDMA presence

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Monday that it is investigating whether cancer-causing N-nitrosodimethlyamine (NDMA) is present in diabetes drugs sold in Korea.

After Singaporean health authorities recalled three metformin-based drugs for containing NDMA, European Union and the United States health authorities announced shortly after that they have started their own investigations for the diabetes drugs sold in their regions.

The Drug Safety Ministry said no immediate measures are needed as the three medicines containing NDMA that Singapore has recalled are not distributed in Korea.

The ministry previously banned import, manufacture and sale of 269 ranitidine-based medicines, used to treat a quarter of gastrointestinal ailments in Korea, in September for containing NDMA beyond authorized limits.

More than 80 percent of type 2 diabetes patients could be in danger if NDMA is found in metformin drugs sold in Korea, as there are no substitutes to them at this point.

By Ko Jun-tae
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