J&J pulls surgical products on sterility concerns

More recall news from Johnson & Johnson. The company's Ethicon unit has pulled 360,000 surgical drain products on worries the packaging might not be sterile. It's the third recent recall for that unit, which also withdrew sutures and hernia repair products on concerns that packaging might be prone to contamination, Reuters reports.

The new episode involves Ethicon's Blake silicone drains, drain kits and cardio connectors, along with J-VAC reservoirs and drain adapters distributed over the past nine months or so. J&J linked the recall to a contract manufacturer, but wouldn't identify the company. "We take full accountability for our supply chain," Ethicon spokeswoman Barbara Montresor told the Wall Street Journal.

This latest recall follows a long series of J&J recalls, mostly concentrated in its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit. Problem plants in Fort Washington, PA, and Puerto Rico contributed to moldy-smelling tablets, particle contamination and inconsistent levels of active ingredients in a host of well known drugs, including adult and children's Tylenol products, Motrin, Rolaids and more. Those two plants are now under an FDA consent decree while J&J brings production up to snuff.

Meanwhile, J&J has been reviewing its manufacturing operations companywide, a process that could turn up additional quality problems and prompt additional recalls, officials have said. The company has also restructured its quality control org chart to help tighten up compliance.

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