Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare president told employees in an e-mail to proceed with a recall of certain lots of Motrin pills before the formal public recall, Bloomberg says.
In the e-mail, Peter Luther told employees "Let's make this happen ASAP." Bloomberg says it got the e-mail from a source familiar with the investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A McNeil spokeswoman told Bloomberg the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was kept informed.
The House committee chairman has asked two companies if they were hired by Johnson & Johnson to buy up Motrin from retail outlets in a phantom recall attempt, to avoid the company issuing a formal recall.
""We need to better understand Johnson & Johnson's relationship with the contractor and get to the bottom of the services the contractor was asked to provide," U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., said in a statement. The committee has asked for information from WIS of San Diego and Inmar of Winston-Salem, N.C., about their roles in the recall.
The committee learned of that recall while investigating the April 30 recall of 40 over-the-counter pediatric products because of manufacturing problems at its Fort Washington, Penn. plant.
During a hearing before the committee May 27, Colleen A. Groggins, worldwide chairman of Johnson and Johnson's consumer group, said the Motrin incident involved a small amount sold only in gas stations and the FDA had been aware of contractors hired to remove it.
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