May 27th, 2010
04:39 AM ET

Practices at Tylenol plant to be examined

Lawmakers have scheduled a hearing Thursday to look into the recall of popular pediatric medicines by drugmaker McNeil Consumer Healthcare, which has initiated four recalls of its products in the past seven months.

The recalls include popular over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl.

Fifty children's versions of these nonprescription medicines were also recalled on May 1 because of quality and safety concerns.

McNeil has maintained that its recall of the children's drugs was not "undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events" but as a precautionary measure.

Visit McNeil's recall site

Adverse event reports are consumer complaints of a serious side effect associated with the use of a medical product, according to the FDA.

Adverse events could include death, hospitalization, disability and other health complications.

Following the pediatric medicine recall, Johnson and Johnson suspended production at McNeil's facility in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania that manufactured the children's drugs.

Among those testifying will be Colleen Goggins, the worldwide chairman of Johnson and Johnson, of which McNeil is a division.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform also invited Johnson and Johnson Chief Executive William Weldon, but he declined to attend because of health reasons.

A panel of Food and Drug Administration officials will also be at the hearing.

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Filed under: Health
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. lchanford

    Mr. Weldon must have taken some of his own product if he to ill to attend the hearing, you think, maybe, huh?

    May 27, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. itwasntme904

    Mr. Weldon, if he is too sick to testify? Is he too sick to run J&J? These corporations are top heavy with management and ALWAYS cut corners, including on QA, QC staffing!!!

    May 27, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. LadySusan35

    Another case of a CEO sending someone else to take the fall. Weldon, Goggins, and the rest of the board have made tons of money by lining their pockets instead of reinvesting in the companys that pay them. If he has health problems step down!

    May 27, 2010 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. t75mcl1

    This could be interesting. If they really get down to it, it could expose the FDA CAPA system for what it is: an expensive way for FDA inspectors to justify their own self promotion, and for FDA brass to pile up infraction numbers. People just don't realize the true cost of our incompetent and power hungry government. No recall should ever be undertaken for anything but safety issues. This whole incident is over book keeping errors.

    May 27, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • los

      You are right to an extend, but no parent wants to give his kid a drug that isn't safe.

      May 27, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. los

    The Canadians must be loving this

    May 27, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • HUMAN

      re- los – Why are Canadians loving this ? I may have some of this bad Tylenol at home !
      A large number of our everyday products come from the U.S.

      May 27, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. dsb

    J & J is just another example of why regulatory agencies are needed. J & J is top heavy but lays off staff to cut costs. There is no quality oversight, just get the product out the door. They celebrate that all of their recalls have been kept off the news radar because they have occurred during other news stories and kept them off the front pages. Haiti, Toyota, the terrorist attack in Times Square and now the oil spill keep eyes off J & J, but this really illustrates how large corporations have taken advantage of the recession to trim costs and therefore quality. The government needs to fine these corporate giants and hit them where it hurts.

    May 27, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Paul Crewe

    The makers of Aleve are partying hard tonight!

    May 27, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. wrkr12

    The problem lies in temporary workers. Weldon lays off good employees and brings in contractors to do the work for less. These workers are poorly trained and lack the skills to do the job. Then Bill Weldon gets an 8 million dollar raise this year for "hard ethical decisions".

    May 27, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • AM

      i disagree with the comments made about bringing in temporary workers and assuming they are poorly trained and lack skills. I work in the pharm industry and know that most of the temps brought in are actually over trained and highly educated but have been laid off themselves from pharm giants and at this point need to resort to taking a temp job because the pharm industry simply isnt hiring permanently at the moment. I think the real problem lies with large corporations all over this country cutting staff and placing extraordinary amounts of work on the people that remain- people are stretched too thin and therefore quality takes a toll.

      May 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jersey born

    side effects include

    May 27, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Shastafarian

    Tylenol isn't my drug of choice....

    May 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CaliMOM

    Of course "people" could go back to using old fashioned remedies! They seem to work for me and my children have a better chance at being healthy and keeping their livers!

    May 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kramer

    I agree it's time for Weldon & most of the board to step down or let's be honest get kicked out. J&J may pay a small dividend but the stocks haven't risen in over 10 years. Take a look at their salary and stock options its crazy. The problem is even if they step down now they are walking away with $100 million plus so why do they care?

    The real problem is that J&J Corporate Quality group is not doing their jobs and this group need a major make over. At one time they had trained Corporate inspectors who visited every plant and held them to one standard. As cost cutting they decided to drop this approach and make individual companies accountable. We all know how sucessful this approach has been. It's time to fire the folks that made this decision. Come on J&J be accountable and clean house and bring back accountability for Quality.

    June 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Judy

    I was laid off as a quality inspector at a certain well known American company. This was late last year. The production manager justified the decision not to have a quality control department by saying, "We don't need a quality control department, look at Toyota, they don't have a quality control department, and they are doing just fine." Oh, how I love to look back on that statement and laugh!

    June 17, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. Judy

    This is posting # 2 on the subject, I hit "post" a little too soon! So, yeah, companies, lets save money by kicking Quality Control to the curb. Brilliant, just brilliant !! Oh, and my former manager plans on hiring temps to do the job during the busiest season of the year. Not to downgrad temps, but they just don't have the skills necessary to understand the finer points of the job, all those little details that permanent employees have. Way to go Tylenol, cut back on quality at the expense of the public. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    June 17, 2010 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |