- McNeil, the consumer healthcare arm of Johnson & Johnson, has been under fire for its failure to properly investigate complaints of adulterated bottles of children's OTC medications. Complaints started coming in six years ago.
- The FDA has been inspecting various McNeil facilities and finding problems with children's Motrin and Tylenol. As a result, the company has had to do numerous large-scale recalls.
- There was also a Congressional hearing in which former CEO, Bill Weldon, admitted numerous missteps. J&J will be paying $25 million to settle the case.
In 1982, J&J was viewed as a good corporate citizen because of the way it handled a situation in which cyanide-laced Tylenol was discovered in a store, prompting an immediate, large-scale recall.
In contrast, McNeil has been seemingly indifferent in the face of numerous complaints. The goal is to pay the fee and put this behind them; however, one of their ey manufacturing plants, located in Fort Washington, PA, is still out of commission,a situation that has been ongoing for the last three years.
Fortunately, J&J has other manufacturing facilities, though they are under government injunction. The takeaway is that immediate and overly cautious reactions to problems that could harm patients is always the right approach—and the best way to avoid the wrath of the FDA.