J&J Unit Recalls Extra-Strength Acetaminophen Caplets


Does there seem to be an increase in OTC drug recalls or is the problem primarily related to one company?

The Associated Press (6/29) reports, Johnson & Johnson’s “McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is recalling one product lot of Tylenol [acetaminophen] Extra Strength Caplets made in February 2009 and distributed in the US. The recall totals 60,912 bottles, each of which has 225 caplets.”

And Bloomberg News (6/29, Peterson) reports, “The voluntary recall was prompted by ‘a small number of odor reports,’ New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit said today in a statement. While the risk of serious medical problems is remote, the odor has been linked to a chemical that can cause “temporary and non-serious gastrointestinal symptoms,” the drug maker said. Johnson & Johnson ‘has pulled millions of packages of over-the-counter drugs since last year because of the chemical known as 2,4,6 tribromoanisole, used to treat wooden shipping and storage pallets.”

Does there seem to be an increase in OTC drug recalls or is the problem primarily related to one company?

I can’t help thinking that the efforts to keep costs down plays a pivotal role in such problems. The idea that we can do “more with less” doesn’t really work in health care in the long term, or in the corporate world.

Would a stronger and larger FDA keep these problems from occurring? As we try to reduce government to get a better handle on our spending, some suggest that we will see more of these types of problems because we can’t do more with less in government either. It seems to me that we are facing many tough decisions in assuring safety in our drug supply if we can’t depend on doing it right from the beginning.

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