Despite assorted efforts to get its corporate house in order, Johnson & Johnson simply cannot escape manufacturing problems. The latest escapade has occurred in Brazil, where more than 3.3 million bottles of Tylenol Drops are being recalled because the dripper is apparently malfunctioning and can lead to an overdose.
The active ingredient is acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage, and the J&J notice adds that an overdose can also result in nausea and other gastrointestinal problems. The bottles were made between December 2011 and November 2012, according to a notice issued by the health care giant. We asked J&J for comment and will update you accordingly.
The recall is only the latest in a huge and embarrassing series of such steps by J&J, which earlier this month learned that its Janssen Korea ceo faces criminal charges over manufacturing violations that led to the withdrawal of 1.7 million bottles of Children’s Tylenol. The government also ordered that J&J had to suspend production of several products for varying periods of time (back story).
As we noted recently, there is irony in the timing. Last month, J&J launched its first new corporate image campaign in more than a decade in hopes of restoring consumer confidence in its products after the huge laundry list of recalls – Tylenol; Motrin; Rolaids; Sudafed; Benadryl; syringes; K-Y Jelly; Accuvue contact lenses; hip replacement devices; and the Topamax epilepsy drug, among many others.
Meanwhile, the health care giant is still trying to remediate a key plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, where its McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit is headquartered, after the facility contributed to a spate of recalls. J&J (JNJ) consequently signed a consent decree with the FDA.
The campaign is also designed to deflect attention away from ongoing investigations and litigation surrounding a scandal over failure data for its hip replacement devices and marketing practices for promoting its Risperdal antipsychotic. In fact, a $2.2 billion settlement with the US Department of Justice is in the pipeline.
The cumulative effect of all these problems earlier this week prompted J&J to ask its employees to reassess its 70-year-old corporate credo, which stresses the need to meet high quality standards. The health care giant hopes employees will then complete a survey to identify "opportunities for improvement and action" (read more here).
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shock pic thx to ogimogi on flickr