Africa’s largest drug company, Aspen Pharmacare, has written down the value of a heartburn medicine it sells primarily in Australia by R719m after it was recalled due to possible cancer risks.
Business Day reports that the company’s full-year results to end-June have been restated on a “worst-case basis” after Australian regulators ordered the recall of all products containing ranitidine, which contains a by-product that may pose a low carcinogenic risk from long-time exposure.
This has led to the recall of Zantac. Aspen deputy CEO Gus Attridge said the company had not been directed to recall Zantac in any other countries aside from Australia. He assured consumers of the integrity of Aspen’s products.
Several regulatory agencies around the world are investigating ranitidine, including the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority, the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration. Canada and France have removed the drugs from the shelves, and several drug manufacturers, including Sandoz and Dr Reddy’s, have voluntarily withdrawn their ranitidine products from the US market.
[link url="https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/companies/healthcare/2019-10-29-aspens-share-price-dips-on-news-of-r719m-drug-writedown/"]Business Day report[/link]