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Congressional Committee: McNeil Hid Motrin Recall From Public

McNeil Consumer Healthcare hired contractors around the country to buy up Motrin IB caplets that were not dissolving properly without alerting regulators or the public about the problem, according to documents released yesterday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The "phantom recall' by the division of Johnson and Johnson was blasted by committee members, Lyndsey Layton reports.

"It is a moral outrage for a company specifically marketing its products for children to allow a culture of neglect and irresponsibility to taint the medicines that parents and physicians trust to help children get well," said Rep. Darrell Issa ( R. - Calif.)

Joshua M. Sharfstein, a pediatrician and deputy FDA commissioner, said 755 illnesses and 37 deaths of children and infants who took the medicines appear to be side effects not related to its quality. "From what we know, we don't have evidence of children who had serious problems because of quality problems," he said.

McNeil's manufacturing processes are being redesigned and six senior executives have been removed from their jobs, according to Johnson and Johnson executive Coleen Goggins. "I apologize to mothers, fathers and caregivers for the concern and inconvenience caused by the recall," she said. "We will work hard to earn back your confidence."

Robert McNeil, who launched created Tylenol in 1955 as a prescription painkiller for kids, Tylenol Elixir for Children, and four years later helped engineer the sale of his family-owned McNeil Laboratories to Johnson and Johnson, died last Thursday at age 94, Stephen Miller reports in the Wall Street Journal.




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