For those who thought Johnson & Johnson may have finally gotten its arms around its numerous quality control problems, well, the health care giant simply hasn't. This afternoon, J&J's McNeil Consumer Health unit issued yet another recall because of a musty smell emanating from over-the-counter products. In this case, it was Tylenol 8-hour caplets (see the statement).
This only the latest in a string of recalls that enveloped J&J in controversy. An effort to mask various quality-control problems prompted the health care giant to allegedly conduct what a congressional committee has called a 'phantom recall' that was designed to mask the effort from regulators and consumers. Consequently, a federal criminal investigation is under way (read here). Meanwhile, J&J has indefinitely closed a plant (look here), laid off some 300 workers and is losing hundreds of millions of dollars in sales as more than 130 million bottles of various over-the-counter meds have been recalled (see this, this and this).
J&J isn't the only one with smelly meds, though. Pfizer recently recalled 191,000 bottles of its Lipitor cholesterol pill - but only the 40mg dose - after receiving a few consumer reports last July of a musty odor emanating from packaging supplied by another company. And the same chemical contamination that plagued J&J showed up in the Pfizer bottles - 2,4,6-Tribromoanisole (back story).