Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) recall woes aren't over yet. The company's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit said Thursday it is recalling nine lots of Sudafed because of a typographical error in the directions. Yes, a typo.

The recall affects 667,632 packages, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the recall. McNeil is recalling, at the wholesale level in the U.S., the over-the-counter allergy and cold medicine Sudafed 24 Hour Extended-Release Tablets (10-count packs, 240 mg each) because the instructions repeat the word "not" as follows: "do not not divide, crush, chew, or dissolve the tablet."

The internal packaging contains the proper instructions: "swallow each tablet whole; do not divide, crush, chew, or dissolve the tablet." The company further says in its statement: "To date there have been no reports of adverse events caused by this labeling error."

In a previous Sudafed recall in January, which was part of a larger one, the company said it had found insufficient equipment cleaning procedures on the production line. "McNeil identified the inadequacies as part of a thorough, proactive quality and process assessment of all McNeil produced products," the company said in a statement.

A String of Recalls That Started in 2009

The largest consumer health care company's recall woes began in 2009. In April 2010, J&J initiated a huge recall of over-the-counter children's medicines, such as Tylenol and Motrin, because of manufacturing deficiencies that affected the quality, purity and potency of the products. These recalls were the subject of two Senate investigations, and the Oversight Committee hearings revealed cover-ups and phantom recalls.

In response, J&J suspended manufacturing at its Fort Washington, Penn., plant, made changes at a plant in Puerto Rico, and has been conducting a complete review of its products, leading in some cases to further recalls. It was expected that as the product reviews proceeded, there might be additional recalls.

And J&J has had to pull other products along the way, as well, including its 1 Day Acuvue TruEye contact lenses in Japan, its cancer drug Velcade and a hip implant. Also, children's Benadryl and heartburn drug Mylanta were recalled. WSJ Health Blog lists all the recalls it has kept track of, including three just this past month. While some of the recalls were generally harmless, others, such as for the hip replacement, were far from it.

On top of the investigations by regulatory bodies and lawmakers, loss of confidence by consumers and investors alike, J&J also said the recalls cost $900 million in sales last year. The company that was once a symbol of quality -- in product, business and management -- is becoming a caricature of itself.


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dcrosetti

How badly can a company be managed? JNJ is a case study in piss poor management. There is no quality control, there is no leadership, there is no competence--there is just ineptitude. This company has had 14 recalls of product in the last 12 months. Every time the product is recalled, it is destroyed. Do you think that may affect the company's bottom line, just a bit? You would have to be a glutton for punishment to own stock in this company. Until they change the people running it, there will be continued problems. Obviously, no one can proof read a box. The bigger question is, how many people have purchased this product over the last 24 months, with the mistake on the pack? Unless JNJ just changed the box, there would be no reason to change any script on the boxes, so obviously, this product has been out there, incorrectly stating "not not" for how long? But with our investigative reporters, there are no freaking followup questions to anything.

February 27 2011 at 8:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
pete

Gubmint demands that typo be corrected.

And you people have let the media convince you it was some big, faceless pharma company that was the cause for high prices.

I remember in the 50's walking down to the Rex'all and picking up a salve for my father. Now you need a script for that stuff. So make an appointment, take time off work, sit in the dr. office, get your script, go to the pharmacy, wait for your script to be filled, then go home because your work day ended hours ago.

Which is more productive, the 1950s way, or what government has brought us to? And when I screwed up dad was allowed to spank me, and when I got too big to spank, he was allowed to knock me on my azz. Once he had my attention, he managed to raise me into a productive, responsible citizen. It worked with me and seven siblings. Only the government has all the time in the world to not take care of business.

February 27 2011 at 11:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
spmazanek

I not not divided and crushed some pills and I am Sueing! That's the American Way.

February 27 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

You can't fix "stupid", especially in Govt agencies

February 27 2011 at 10:32 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
eurocardriver000

This recall is idiotic & stupid. All this wasted money and fuss over a repeated word? Give me a break !!!!!

"HEY FDA.... WAKE THE HELL UP FOOLS. CONSUMERS AREN'T STUPID"

February 27 2011 at 9:32 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Michael Ratke

Why is this even news? "not not" anyone including a 3rd grader would know it was a typo!

February 27 2011 at 6:50 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Michele

I thought they had to be crushed to make that 'street speed', or what ever it's called.

February 27 2011 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mcager

....and people are so stupid that they don't realize that is a typo. However, J&J needs to get its act together and stop potential harm to the public.

February 27 2011 at 3:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mcager's comment
lilslicko

They are covering their ass's becuase not only stupid people do this but stupid people get to be a jury too.

Heres somehting sent to me.

Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her -- are you sitting down? --- $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

February 27 2011 at 5:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lilslicko's comment
Spok99202

Please cite me to the Oklahoma court name and case number. I have a car dealer which has received a similar claim, and would be very interested in talking with the lawyers who handled that case.

May 13 2011 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Michele

Most people already know how to take it, and probably wouldn't even notice the typo. Now they have the box as a collector's item. It will probably show up on E-Bay.

February 27 2011 at 3:38 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
stitchingroom

J & J have had so many recalls due to suspect products and poor sanitary manufacturing conditions that I stopped using their stuff at all, even down to bandaids and baby powder.

February 27 2011 at 3:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stitchingroom's comment
spmazanek

Paranoid!

February 27 2011 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply