Meijer, Walmart halt sales of Zantac and related drugs

Kent County

In this Sept. 30, 2019 photo, a box of Maximum Strength Zantac tablets is shown at a pharmacy in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

WALKER, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — Meijer has joined the growing list of retailers to pull the popular heartburn treatment Zantac from store shelves after health regulators warned about a potentially dangerous contaminant in the drug.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Meijer said in light of the product alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it had decided to remove all over the counter ranitidine products from its shelves.

Meijer said its store-brand products and Zantac were among the drugs pulled. The Walker-based retail chain said customers who bought the drugs included in the product alert could return them to Meijer for a refund.

Meijer’s announcement came after Walmart said it suspended sales of all drugs sold without a prescription, that include Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine. Aside from Zantac, that includes Equate and Member’s Mark brands.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said last month it detected low levels of a probable cancer-causing chemical in Zantac and related generic drugs to treat ulcers and reflux disease. The same chemical has been linked to dozens of recalls of prescription blood pressure drugs in the past year.

The drugstore chains CVS Health , Walgreens and Rite Aid have already pulled Zantac products from their shelves.

Full statement from Meijer:

“In response to the recent Product Alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that ranitidine products may contain a low level of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), Meijer has made the decision to remove all over the counter ranitidine products from its shelves. This includes Zantac and Meijer brand products. Customers who have purchased these products and have concerns may return them to Meijer or a refund. For more information on this issue, please see the FDA website.”

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