Following similar moves by drug store chains CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, Hy-Vee Inc. has temporarily suspended the sale of all over-the-counter Zantac and TopCare ranitidine products for heartburn relief.
According to the West Des Moines, Iowa-based grocer, “This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to a recent industry-wide product alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that ranitidine products may contain a low level of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen."
Hy-Vee noted that the FDA is evaluating whether low levels of NDMA in ranitidine are harmful to people.
Pharmaceutical maker Apotex has issued a voluntary cautionary recall on 75-mg and 150-mg ranitidine tablets sold under the TopCare and other private label brands. Customers who bought these products at Hy-Vee can return them for a full refund.
Hy-Vee stores and pharmacies are still selling other over-the-counter heartburn relief medications such as Pepcid, Tagamet, and their respective generic equivalents, famotidine and cimetidine.
TopCare is a brand of Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Topco Associates LLC, the leading procurement and service cooperative for grocery retailers, wholesalers, and foodservice distributors in the United States. Zantac is manufactured by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Chattem Inc.
Hy-Vee referred customers with questions to their health care provider or Hy-Vee pharmacist.
Following Walmart's action, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Inc. has now halted sale of Zantac and other ranitidine products, according to USA Today and other publications.
Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 260 retail stores across eight Midwestern states, and has 80,000 associates. The company is No. 12 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.