J&J recall plant to stay closed through year's end

The disgraced Johnson & Johnson  (NYSE: J&J) plant in Fort Washington, Pa., will stay idle through the end of the year, the company says. The McNeil Consumer Healthcare plant--which made the children's versions of Tylenol, Benadryl, and other drugs recalled in April--stopped production after FDA inspectors found myriad manufacturing problems.

Products made at the McNeil plant account for about $650 million in sales annually, the company says in a statement. That's only a tiny fraction of the $62 billion in revenue J&J posted last year. But the sales aren't the only casualty. J&J's reputation has suffered as details about the plant's problems have emerged--and the company's handling of earlier recalls comes into question. Congress is investigating and so is the FDA, which has referred the matter to its criminal investigations unit.

The company has been conducting an internal probe. And it has been making changes at McNeil--shuffling management, hiring consultants, beefing up employee training, as the Wall Street Journal points out. It's also been assessing McNeil's manufacturing in Fort Washington and elsewhere, looking for problems that need addressing. Considering that J&J now thinks it can't get the Pennsylvania plant back online this year, the "corrective actions" at that facility, at least, must be extensive.

- check out the McNeil release
- read the WSJ piece
- get more from Dow Jones