Latest J&J recall points to quality control problems

Another drug recall at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). This time, J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit pulled 43 products because of manufacturing problems. The recalled products include liquid Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl products for children and infants.

According to the FDA, the products might contain higher-than-normal concentrations of active ingredient or inactive ingredients that wouldn't meet quality control specs. Some might contain "tiny particles," the agency says. "We are investigating the products and facilities associated with this recall and will provide updates as we learn more," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says in a statement.

McNeil has stopped production at the plant where the recalled products were made so it can wrap up its own investigation of the manufacturing trip-ups that led to the problem products. McNeil "has identified corrective actions that will be implemented before new manufacturing is initiated at the plant," the company says in a statement.

This is the second big recall for McNeil this year. In January, the company pulled several hundred lots of adult and children's products made at a plant in Puerto Rico. The drugs involved in that recall included Benadryl, Motrin, Rolaids and Tylenol.

Now the company has a job ahead: Rehabbing its reputation with parents who bought the recalled meds. Why should consumers pay more for a brand drug from a company that's recalled products? Michael Braun, an assistant professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management tells the New York Times that J&J will have to "go to greater lengths" to persuade consumers. "The greater the harm to the reputation, the more expensive it is to fix it," Braun tells the Times.

- see the FDA release
- get the McNeil statement 
- check out the list of recalled drugs
- find the Washington Post coverage
- read the New York Times story
- get more from the NYT

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