Whoops. Looks like Johnson & Johnson’s recall of Tylenol last November wasn’t enough to prevent people from getting sick due to musty pills. The pharmaceutical company has issued yet another recall on a handful of its over-the-counter medications, including Tylenol, Motrin and Rolaids. Reports of unusually stinky pills has led to Johnson & Johnson having to readdress problems that have been plaguing the company for over a year now.
While Johnson & Johnson maintains that the moldy pills are affecting only a small number of cases, there are still people getting sick from the bad pills. Reports of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea from consumers means that Johnson & Johnson could be dealing with a lot more than an upset stomach if it doesn’t nip this issue once and for all.
Since 2008, the mildewy pills have been making their way around various locations that sell the Johnson and Johnson products. At the core of the problem is a chemical called 2,4,6-tribomoanisole, which is found in trace amounts in the wood pallets used to transport and store packaging materials. Last year, Johnson and Johnson did take measures to recall its products as a result of the musty pills, but now it looks like the company didn’t quite do enough.
A recently released FDA report indicates that Johnson & Johnson didn’t follow protocol at some of its manufacturing plants, which would put the company in a rather poor light. Tylenol has an unfortunate history of having to issue recalls at various points in time. While such historic plights have led to the far improved safety standards we have today, being the reason behind such advancements is a heavy cross to bear.
Johnson and Johnson is reportedly working in consultation with the FDA in order to continue to address the problem. I sincerely hope that Johnson & Johnson gets to the root of the problem and fixes it as soon as possible, because two years is far too long for consumers to be worrying about getting even sicker from medication that’s supposed to help them.
Hopefully we’ll see some action soon. I’d hate to see a large company get away with slaps on the wrist for an issue that is really a matter of public safety and consumer-brand trust. It’s a sad truth that companies, especially large companies with massive, moving parts, are usually reacting to situations instead of preventing them.
While product recalls are, in some ways, a way of life, it makes you wonder what risks some companies put us at when selling and promoting their items. The Zhu Zhu scare over the holiday season was especially dire, as it questioned a toy’s dedication to protecting the children for which it designs and manufacturers. It’s difficult to be perfect all of the time, but we’d hate for Johnson & Johnson to be a repeat offender…even though their PR Agency, Burson-Marsteller wrote the book on how to succeed with crisis PR on their product recall work in the ‘80’s.