Drugmakers have been diversifying quite a bit lately, diving into generics, emerging markets, consumer healthcare. But hedging bets on prescription meds isn't without its own risks--OTC drugs run into manufacturing problems, too.
Witness Johnson & Johnson's latest Tylenol troubles. J&J is perhaps the poster child for diversification, with its fingers in so many different health-related pies that it's tough to think of something it doesn't cover. With $16 billion in sales, its consumer division is huge on its own. And within that behemoth of operations, Tylenol is a big brand with its own diversification strategies--think Tylenol Sinus, Tylenol Caplets, Extra Strength Tylenol, Tylenol for infants and kids.
Unfortunately, one of those sub-brands--Tylenol Arthritis Caplets--has been hit with a big recall. J&J is withdrawing all product lots of the caplets packed in 100-count bottles with EZ-Open Caps. Five lots were pulled first after customers reported a moldy smell that triggered nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. And the recall was expanded to all the lots late Monday.