J&J contractors brought into congressional probe

The Johnson & Johnson recall probe is unfolding right before our eyes. Today, Congress has requested information from two contractors hired by J&J to buy potentially defective Motrin tablets several months prior to an official recall of the drug back in 2009.

The two companies--WIS International and Inmar--are key to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation, because some evidence shows that they were buying up the Motrin packets to help J&J avoid an official recall. But J&J, on the other hand, says the companies were hired only to buy a representative sample of the drug for testing, to determine whether a recall might be necessary.

"We need to better understand Johnson & Johnson's relationship with the contractor and get to the bottom of the services the contractor was asked to provide," said committee chair Edolphus Towns in a statement.

Meanwhile, J&J has handed over some 20,000 pages of documents related to its recent recall of more than 40 children's medications made at a Pennsylvania plant where FDA inspectors found serious manufacturing violations. More documents are expected from the company today, a committee spokeswoman said. The committee staff also has more than 1,000 pages of FDA records to sift through. Undoubtedly we'll hear more from the committee soon.

- see the committee's release
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