Johnson & Johnson’s Woes Featured in NY Times

Johnson & Johnson was once considered the epitome of quality products. Over the counter pharmaceutical products such as Motrin, Tylenol, Rolaids, and Zyrtec have all been recalled in the past year due to manufacturing defects.
According to a featured article in this Sunday’s edition of the NY Times Business Section, “Some of its products are in short supply at drugstores and supermarkets because the McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit of J.& J. last year recalled about 288 million items, including about 136 million bottles of liquid Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl for infants and children.”
The manufacturing problems have become so acute and the recalls so frequent, Johnson & Johnson now faces a huge public relations problem. Its products are now considered suspect and many consumers are switching to generic brands rather than buying the more expensive J&J brand products. The problems don’t only reside in the pharmaceutical division either.
DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has been forced to recall one of its popular medical devices, the DePuy ASR XL hip replacement after unacceptable failure rates became public last summer. The resulting negative publicity coupled with the DePuy hip lawsuits now consolidated into an MDL in Ohio, has the company reeling.