Parents expect that drug companies who make products specifically for younger children are following the best practices and procedures available to ensure their children’s safety.
After all, they know their young children are highly susceptible to environmental toxins, bacteria, and disease, so if they’re going to have their children take any kinds of medicines, they expect those medicines will have been made with great attention to detail.
However that doesn’t really look like it’s true, at least all the time.
In an ironic twist, a pharmaceutical company has been found guilty of putting the health of their bottom line over the health of young children.
Reuters writes that the makers of Infant’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin have been found guilty of putting their products on the market even though there were unacceptable levels of toxic metals in the products.
A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary pleaded guilty on Tuesday to selling liquid medicine contaminated with metal and agreed to pay $25 million to resolve the case, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday.
The subsidiary, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, pleaded guilty to one federal criminal charge in the case.
In 2010, the company launched mass recalls of certain children’s over-the-counter-medicines, including Infants’ Tylenol and Children’s Motrin, made at its Fort Washington, Pennsylvania plant.
It was the latest in a series of recalls at the time. There were far-reaching multiple recalls from 2008 to 2010 involving hundreds of millions of bottles and packages of consumer brands such as Tylenol, Motrin, Rolaids, Benadryl and other products due to faulty manufacturing. The recalls kept widely used products such as Children’s Tylenol off pharmacy shelves and seriously tarnished J&J’s once-sterling reputation.
In addition to metal particles getting into liquid medicines, there were moldy odors and labeling problems. For example, the label for Sudafed allergy tablets incorrectly repeated the word “not” to say “do not not divide, crush, chew or dissolve the tablet.”
In the case involving metal particles, the troubles began in May 2009 when a consumer complained after noticing “black specks” in the bottom of a bottle of Infants’ Tylenol. The specks were found to be nickel and chromium particles.
In 2010, Johnson & Johnson’s U.S. consumer product sales fell by more than 19 percent, a decrease of $900 million. The rash of consumer medicine recalls in 2009 and 2010 were largely responsible for the first back-to-back years of company sales declines since World War Two.
Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for McNeil Consumer Healthcare, said the plea agreement “closes a chapter” and that the company has “been implementing enhanced quality and oversight standards across its entire business.”
What this means for parents, as well as non-parents, is drug companies shouldn’t be trusted explicitly.
Americans have witnessed time and time again how pharmaceutical companies have been working doggedly at helping themselves long before they help those their products are being market to.
IF you need more proof just take a look at the long list of major companies who have had to pay settlements to consumers for their fraudulent and dangerous practices.
One of the biggest settlements was for $3 billion dollars when drug maker GlaxoKlineSmith was found criminally liable for their off-label promotion, and failure to disclose safety data.
And there are countless others of similar nature.
The bottom line is you can’t fully trust these companies, so make sure to be very careful about administering Over the Counter medications to loved ones.
For your safety, and theirs.