J&J recall count grows on mold in Risperdal Consta vials

Last July, after running up against a series of problems, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) pledged to keep a closer watch on its drug manufacturing. But a recall announced Wednesday--the second in as many weeks for the pharma giant--has left some wondering whether J&J has any better handle on its quality control than it did last year.

Wednesday, the company recalled 5,000 vials of Risperdal Consta, a long-acting injectable version of the antipsychotic pill Risperdal. As Bloomberg reports, a routine analysis yielded news that one lot of the med was contaminated with a mold found commonly in the environment, said Robyn Reed Frenze, a spokeswoman for the company's Janssen unit.

That recall followed close behind another from J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit. After finding plastic particles in its API last week, the company pulled 200,000 bottles of Motrin Infants' Drops.

More recalls were not part of the plan for J&J when it vowed to keep a more watchful eye on quality control. The company made that promise as part of a settlement with fed-up investors who accused directors of overlooking warning signs in company operations. The vow involved setting up a board-level group to watch over compliance efforts from its business units after some blamed decentralization and unit autonomy for the company's manufacturing woes, most of which came out of a McNeil unit that signed a consent decree with the FDA in 2011.

But things have not exactly gone exactly the way the company expected, and as Bloomberg points out, OTC isn't the only area of business whose manufacturing slip-ups have troubled J&J as of late. The drugmaker currently faces thousands of lawsuits after recalling 93,000 hip implants from its DePuy unit back in August, 2010. More recently, the Janssen unit has come under fire, with South Korea launching a criminal investigation in May after the unit waited a month to report that some Children's Tylenol products contained excessive levels of acetaminophen.

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