J&J: No basis for Motrin-buyback lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson says there's no legal basis for Oregon's suit over the early 2009 buyback, a.k.a. phantom recall, of Motrin. The Beaver State charges unlawful trade practices, stating J&J's McNeil unit misrepresented the effectiveness and quality of the drug.

McNeil potentially faces a fine of $25,000 for each container of defective Motrin sold to Oregon consumers. The pills did not dissolve as intended.

State Attorney General John Kroger says McNeil's contractor scheme was an effort to avoid the negative publicity of a formal recall. He tells the New York Times that the drugmaker's obligation was "to do proper recalls that give consumers real notice."

The lawsuit charges also that the Motrin problem was bigger than initially reported, involving some 24-count packages as well as the eight-count vials.

- get the press release from the Oregon AG
- here's the story