Johnson & Johnson has issued another round of recalls for drugs produced at the shuttered manufacturing plant in Fort Washington. The announcement follows two high-profile drug recalls in the past year, and the closure of the plant after a Food and Drug Administration inspection in April.
Supplies of Children’s Benadryl and junior-strength Motrin were quietly removed from pharmacy shelves starting last week. The company says a public recall wasn’t issued because the drugs are still perfectly safe and effective. Dr. Daniel Hussar, a pharmacy professor at the University of the Sciences, said it’s true that the medications are safe. But given the company’s track record, he said it should communicate more with the public if it wants to regain consumers’ trust.
“I am confident that there are no safety issues,” Hussar said Wednesday, “but particularly given the events of the last year with multiple recalls, the public is skeptical.”
Albert Wertheimer, with Temple University’s School of Pharmacy, said he sees the latest recall as further evidence that the company has faced pressure to cut corners in order to turn a profit. He called the manufacturing defects troubling.
“Drugs are made according to cookbooks, just like you would make brownies in your kitchen,” Wertheimer said. “You take two cups of this and one gram of that, and so for it to not come out right is shocking, because a whole bunch of people have to sign off on it and it has to be tested before it ever leaves the plant.”
About 4 million packages of Children’s Benadryl and 800,000 bottles of junior-strength Motrin were recalled. A company spokeswoman said the products were recalled because of an “insufficiency in the manufacturing process.”