Johnson & Johnson swallows a bitter pill as FDA closes plant

Biohazard symbol

Is this going to wind up on Tylenol labels? Image from Wikimedia Commons

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson has encountered yet another setback. The Food and Drug Administration has temporarily shut down a medicinal manufacturing plant in Lancaster, Penn.  The plant failed an inspection and will remain closed until the plant is restored to satisfactory condition.  Johnson & Johnson has already suffered some high profile setbacks over the past several months, on the heels of a large recall of children’s Motrin and Tylenol products.

Lancaster PA plant closes its doors

A plant run by a Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals joint venture was ordered to halt production by the Food and Drug Administration, according to CNN Money. The Lancaster, Penn., plant was given a Form 483, which is an FDA notice of non-compliance with FDA guidelines. It is the second plant in the last few months for Johnson & Johnson to get hit with sanctions, and a setback for the Johnson & Johnson-Merck joint venture. The plant manufactured Mylanta, Immodium and Pepcid.

Newest plant closure for J & J

In May, Johnson & Johnson was ordered by the FDA to close a Fort Washington, Penn., plant for non-compliance with codes. That plant manufactured children’s Motrin and Tylenol. The plant in Fort Washington was run by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, which just announced a layoff of 300 of the 400 employees at the plant. The Fort Washington plant was implicated in contaminating numerous shipments of children’s Motrin and Tylenol which were recalled in 2009. Another Tylenol recall was initiated recently where 130 million bottles of children’s Motrin and Tylenol were recalled on May 6 of this year.

McNeil execs might need some of their own drugs

McNeil Consumer Healthcare has been lambasted by the FDA on an almost quarterly basis for years. McNeil and the Fort Washington plant have been constantly under investigation since 2003, and McNeil has issued five recalls of products in the last 8 months. One wonders if consumers can actually find medicine that won’t kill them.

Sources

Lancaster PA plant

Fort Washington plant closing

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