FDA: Tylenol Maker Delayed Recall of Tainted Drugs

Regulator issues warning letter over moldy-smelling OTC products
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 1:33 PM CST
FDA: Tylenol Maker Delayed Recall of Tainted Drugs
Tylenol and NyQuil is shown in a medicine cabinet at a home in Palo Alto, Calif., Tuesday, June 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The maker of Tylenol waited more than a year to recall products it knew were chemically tainted, the FDA alleged in a warning letter to the company today. The agency says McNeil Consumer Healthcare Products, a division of Johnson & Johnson, learned in 2008 that some batches of Tylenol, Motrin, and other over-the-counter products contained a chemical normally found in wooden shipping pallets, but it didn’t announce that until a year later.

By the time McNeil recalled the product in November 2009, consumers were already complaining of the moldy smell coming from the bottles. Some experienced temporary nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms. “McNeil should have acted faster,” the FDA’s compliance chief told the Los Angeles Times. “When something smells bad, literally and figuratively, companies must take all necessary actions.” (More Tylenol stories.)

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