Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
Even free marketeer Republicans are sick of it – literally. Rep. Darrell Issa, (R., Calif.), has asked U.S. regulators to look into J & J’s use of a contract manufacturer to make Rolaids antacids that were recalled for quality problems. Issa has requested a probe of J & J product and identified the contract manufacturer as Best Sweet, a Mooresville, N.C., maker of confectionary-based consumer health-care products.
What has happened to the rock-solid reputation of medicine producer, Johnson & Johnson, and its consumer arm, McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Once the paragon of U.S. corporate efficiency and product integrity, the company was rocked in the 1980’s by the Tylenol tampering cases that were arguably not of its own making. J & J took immediate action to remove the product from the shelves and protect the public as well as the brand. Tylenol came roaring back, and even the Washington Post gushed, “Johnson & Johnson has effectively demonstrated how a major business ought to handle a disaster.” Lately though, the consumer giant has had suffered an incredible string of failures and missteps under CEO, William Weldon.
Here’s a list of the product recalls since 2002:
Children’s and infants’ liquid Tylenol products, Tylenol Arthritis Pain Caplets, Benadryl Allergy, Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Children’s Tylenol Meltaway, Motrin IB, Rolaids and St. Joseph’s aspirin.
The recalls also include professional samples of Infants’ Tylenol, Infants’ Motrin and Children’s Zyrtec, along with regular consumer Children’s Tylenol, Children’s Zyrtec and Zyrtec Itchy eye-drops; another recall of children’s and infants’ Tylenol liquid products, Tylenol 8 Hour Caplets, Children’s Benadryl Allergy FASTMELT, Junior Strength Motrin Caplets, Rolaids Extra Strength Softchews, certain Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom liquid products, as well as certain Mylanta liquid products and one AlternaGel Liquid product.
In 2008, J & J hired consultants to buy up 88,000 packages of Motrin to avoid public disclosure of problems with the compund. Then the FDA shutdown its Fort Washington, Pennsylvania plant for production deficiencies. Recently, things have gotten even worse. In August of this year, 93,000 artificial hips were recalled because of premature failures of the appliance. What could possibly be going on?
No one can say for sure why the often-emulated quality control procedures of Johnson & Johnson have failed so miserably since 2002, but it may be no coincidence that George W. Bush and his gang of de-regulators started guarding the consumer henhouse in 2000.
Source: Mad Money, By Jim Cramer
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger