J&J recalls more drugs made at troubled plant

There's another odor-related recall for Johnson & Johnson in the works. Complaints of a musty, moldy smell wafting from bottles of Tylenol 8-Hour caplets prompted J&J to pull 34,056 bottles in a new recall. Plus, the company added another 717,696 packages of five different drugs to a January consumer-med recall, saying that production equipment might not have been cleaned properly.

These two episodes bring J&J's recall count to more than 20, affecting a host of the company's top brands. Both of them involve drugs made at the company's troubled Fort Washington, PA, plant, before it was shuttered last April for retooling, Dow Jones reports. That plant, along with facilities in Puerto Rico and Lancaster, PA, is now operating under an FDA consent decree. The Fort Washington facility won't be able to resume production until the agency gives its blessing.

Pharmalot figures that the steady stream of recalls--the latest, announced by J&J's Ethicon unit, was just five days ago--has had a numbing effect on consumers. New announcements seem like more of the same, and they certainly have less shock value than the first few product withdrawals did. The U.S. has a notoriously short attention span, after all.

But whether consumers are still paying close attention or not, many J&J products remain missing from store shelves. The more packages that disappear, the more buyers will choose alternatives. The real question is whether consumers, once diverted from their brand loyalty, will come back into the fold when products are available again.

- find the official recall notice
- see the Health Blog report
- get more from Dow Jones
- read the New York Times coverage
- check out Pharmalot's take