Stink strikes J&J again, prompting Prezista recall

That old musty smell has prompted another recall at Johnson & Johnson. This time, it's the HIV fighter Prezista. The company's Janssen unit will pull at least 11,700 bottles of the drug in Europe and Canada after four consumers complained their drugs smelled moldy.

The problem is a familiar one for J&J by now. The company has instituted a series of recalls because of musty-smelling drugs. Tylenol and several other consumer drugs were recalled more than once for that reason, as was the cholesterol drug Lipitor and the seizure drug Topamax. J&J blamed the fungicide 2,4,6 tribromoanisole, or TBA, and a related chemical for those recalls. TBA is used to treat shipping pallets.

TBA appears to be the culprit in this new recall, too. Janssen investigated the consumer complaints, and found trace amounts of of TBA in five batches of Prezista sold in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Canada. The company says it's investigating suppliers to root out all potential sources of TBA.

No word yet on where the foul-smelling Prezista was manufactured. Previous TBA-related recalls have involved drugs made at a J&J plant in Puerto Rico and another facility in Fort Washington, PA, which has been involved in other consumer-drug recalls as well. The Fort Washington plant has been idle for months as the company works to retool it.

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