Johnson & Johnson Motrin Recall Lawsuit

The state of Oregon has filed a lawsuit against Motrin maker Johnson and Johnson as a result of the drug maker quietly buying back available supplies of its defective over the counter drug Motrin in a move that has been called a phantom recall by some members of congress.

In 2009 Jhonson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare hired outside contractors to visit various drug and grocery stores and buy back the defective drugs. Since Johnson and Johnson failed to follow established protocols related to the recall of defective or dangerous drugs, this phantom recall was in fact a dangerous decision by the drug company and may result in other states following Oregon lead and filing state recall lawsuits in response to the phantom Motrin recall.

The problem began in early 2009 when Johnson & Johnson McNeil Consumer Healthcare became aware of the fact that defective Motrin pills failed to dissolve properly and posed a risk to the general public.

Normally, a drug maker would alert the FDA to such a discovery and begin the drug recall process. Johnson and Johnson decided instead to simply buy the drugs back in secret in an effort to avoid any negative publicity and possibly consumer lawsuits as a result of consumers taking the defective drugs.

The Oregon Motrin recall lawsuit states that the problem was worse than Johnson and Johnson McNeil had first acknowledged in that the affected products also included 24 count packages of Motrin as well as Motrin eight count vial packs.

Oregon attorney general John R. Kroger, criticized the company's use of outside contractors to purchase Motrin from retailers, saying it was an effort to avoid the negative publicity that would have accompanied a formal recall from store shelves.
"It would be a disaster if these kinds of phantom recalls became an acceptable business practice," Mr. Kroger said. "The real significance is to send a message to pharmaceutical companies and other companies that make medical products that they have to do proper recalls that give consumers real notice."

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