J&J settles drug manufacturing probe by US states for $33 million

"This settlement requires safeguards to ensure states get the appropriate information they need to protect their citizens if they are any future recalls by this drug manufacturer", Attorney General Shapiro said in a statement.

McNeil PPC, the Fort Washington-based maker of Tylenol and other over-the-counter drugs, will pay $33 million to 43 states to settle allegations that contaminated drugs were distributed throughout the country and improperly marketed to consumers.

The settlement, announced by attorneys general for 42 states and the District of Columbia, resolves claims related to several products, including children's medicines, that were voluntarily recalled from 2009 to 2011.

The $33 million settlement will be split between the states, according to a news release from the West Virginia Attorney General's Office.

The complaint filed today alleges that McNeil violated Idaho's consumer protection laws by (1) misrepresenting the cGMP compliance and the quality of its over-the-counter drugs, and (2) representing to consumers that these drugs had sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities, or qualities they did not actually have.

Represent on its websites that the over-the-counter products manufacturing facilities meet current GMP as outlined by the FDA if McNeil has had a Class I or Class II recall of over-the-counter drug products within the prior 12 months.

"Federal and state standards are put in place to safeguard consumers from harm but also to maintain quality", said Attorney General Rutledge.

Products included in the recall were the adult and children's versions of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, St. Joseph Aspirin, Sudafed, Pepcid, Mylanta, Rolaids, Zyrtec, and Zyrtec Eye Drops.

In a statement, J&J said it was pleased to finalize the settlement and that the recalls were precautionary. Moreover, some McNeil over-the-counter drugs were deemed adulterated as a matter of federal law.

  • Zachary Reyes