Patients' health must come first

The Health Sciences Authority had recalled 50mg and 100mg tablets from Hyperten, Losagen and Losartas in March after they were found to contain higher than acceptable levels of a nitrosamine impurity.
The Health Sciences Authority had recalled 50mg and 100mg tablets from Hyperten, Losagen and Losartas in March after they were found to contain higher than acceptable levels of a nitrosamine impurity.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

It is welcome news that the brands of hypertension medicine recently recalled, Hyperten, Losagen and Losartas, will soon be replaced with medicine from another company (Drug recall: All affected patients to get safer medicine by end-June, May 9).

I have come across several patients being treated for hypertension and microalbuminuria that were given replacement medication from another class that addressed hypertension but not the problem of microalbuminuria.

The latter problem, not addressed, would invariably lead to renal damage.

Those patients seemed satisfied with their replacement medication as their hypertension was controlled, but they may not be aware that their other medical issue was not being managed.

Patients being encouraged to go for screening tests is also a positive development.

It should be reiterated, however, that doctors doing the tests should properly scrutinise the reports and give appropriate feedback should any red flags show up.

Taking only a quick glance and missing serious warning signs is inexcusable. It is disturbing when patients come to me with issues such as sky-high lipid levels despite being told that everything was okay.

While all of us do make mistakes, when it comes to the lives and health of our patients, we must be diligent.

Quek Koh Choon (Dr)