One of the implied promises of a brand name, especially when it comes to drugs, is you can expect higher quality, but maybe that doesn’t apply when it comes to McNeil products.The FDA says the plant that produced the recently recalled children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, was using raw materials that were contaminated with bacteria. The plant also lacked adequate quality-control procedures and was dirty. So far none of the recalled medicine has tested positive for bacterial contamination, but the FDA report suggests that the contaminated material was used to make the recalled lots. The plant has been shut down indefinitely.
McNeil Consumer Healthcare and the FDA both insist that despite the crappy quality of the plant and the products it produced, there is very little risk of illness from any of the recalled drugs.
But as several consumer advocates and health experts point out to ABC News, the real issue is that brand name drugs are just as susceptible to shoddy manufacturing practices as generics. In particular, McNeil has issued three recalls in less than a year for problems with their drugs; the last one was the bad-smelling Tylenol Arthritis product back in December and January.
Johnson & Johnson is acting all “Oh we’re just as shocked as you folks” about it:
Johnson and Johnson issued a statement Tuesday in response to the report.
“The quality issues that the FDA has observed, many of which we had recently identified in our own quality reviews and communicated to the FDA, are unacceptable to us, and not indicative of how McNeil Consumer Healthcare intends to operate,” the Johnson and Johnson statement read.
Until McNeil operates as J&J intends, you can just use generic equivalents and bypass their branded products. You’ll save money, and you might even get a higher-quality product.