Friday, May 28, 2010

Johnson & Johnson Faces Possible Criminal Charges

Widely reported by most media outlets, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil Consumer Products division may face a variety of charges including criminal for what was described by FDA officials in a May 27th Congressional hearing as “a pattern of violations in manufacturing and quality control practices (which) led to a number of recent recalls.

The following are some of the media highlights from yesterday and today:

ABC World News George Stephanopoulos reported, "Government officials said today they are considering criminal charges against Johnson & Johnson, stemming from last month's huge recall of Tylenol and other popular over the counter children's medicines."

NBC Nightly News Brian Williams reported, "Johnson & Johnson insists it has taken dramatic steps to clean up the plants where the recalled products are made. Meanwhile, the FDA says it has referred the matter to its criminal division for consideration."

The New York Times reports, "The Johnson & Johnson unit that recalled millions of bottles of liquid children's Tylenol and other pediatric medicines last month may face criminal penalties, product seizures, or other sanctions, an official from the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday." Notably, the "agency is considering further actions against McNeil Consumer Healthcare...after a pattern of violations in manufacturing and quality control practices led to a number of recent recalls," Sharfstein "said at a Congressional hearing on Thursday."

The Washington Post states, "When faced last year with Motrin IB caplets that were not dissolving properly, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson and Johnson, hired contractors to buy the products under orders not to mention the term 'recall,' according to documents released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform." Then, "after the Food and Drug Administration discovered the effort -- because one of the contractors accidentally dropped an instruction sheet on the floor of a store -- McNeil announced a recall of roughly 88,000 packages of the product." And, in the last year, there have been "four recalls of McNeil products...including the April 30 recall of 136 million bottles of infant and children's Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and Zyrtec, which have shaken consumers' confidence and threaten to stain Johnson and Johnson's brand name."

The Los Angeles Times reports that following the revelations at the hearing, "Colleen Goggins, chairwoman of Johnson & Johnson's consumer division, apologized 'to the mothers and fathers and caregivers for the concern and inconvenience' caused by the April recall."

Securing Pharma Chain Blog, supports the inclusion of authentication and verification of pharmaceuticals at all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain to protect against poor manufacturing practices, fraud, adulteration and counterfeiting and avoid consumption of bogus materials by consumers.

To learn more about supply chain authentication solutions, visit:

To read the major media stories, visit:

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