FDA extends J&J probe to entire McNeil unit

The aftermath of that recent Johnson & Johnson recall keeps growing. Now the FDA has broadened its probe beyond that recall, aiming to investigate manufacturing operations throughout J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit.

Late last month J&J's McNeil recalled more than 40 over-the-counter drugs for children and infants. The company shut down the plant in Fort Washington, PA, where the recalled products were made. And the FDA released an inspection report that prompted the recall--a report particularly unflattering to McNeil's quality control at that plant.

Disturbed by those findings--and by a history of recalls over the past several months--FDA says it's now digging into manufacturing practices at all of McNeil's plants, which include operations in Lancaster, PA, and in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. "We're doing our due diligence," an agency spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. In a statement, the agency said that its probe is designed to "determine whether similar problems exist throughout the company" (as quoted by CNN Money).

Meanwhile, both the agency and J&J are preparing to answer questions from Congress; a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has set a hearing for May 27. Stay tuned.

- read the WSJ article (sub. req.)
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