This past week Tylenol announced the recall of about 750,000 bottles of their 8 Hour Extended Release caplets because of complaints of a musty/moldy smell coming from the Tylenol bottles. McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson, noted that this recall along with previous recalls from Tylenol and other McNeil non-prescription drugs have also contained “trace amounts” of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA) within the actual pill bottles. TBA is a pesticide used to treat wood pallets where the bottles were said to be stored until needed for distribution. In previous cases of pesticide contamination, the pills were said to have caused minor gastrointestinal illness. There has yet to be any reports of illnesses associated with the latest round of Tylenol recalls.
The public health and safety concerns are believed to be minimal, but the U.S Food and Drug Administration along with McNeil don’t want to take any chances, and want to prevent the usage of TBA-tainted Tylenol from being consumed.
The contaminated Tylenol bottles were manufactured by McNeil’s Fort Washington, Pennsylvania manufacturing plant, which has since been shut down by the FDA for failing health inspections. The plant will remain closed until federal inspections can give a clean bill of health. This is the third recall this past year which have been linked to quality control problems from McNeil and have been said to have resulted in the recall of tens of millions of Johnson & Johnson products.
I find this story to be quite interesting for me. During my third year of University, I had a professor that used to work for Tylenol. He has nothing but great things to say about Johnson & Johnson. The company also received very positive PR after their first voluntary major recall a few years ago. The company noted that although there was no major health concerns to the public, Tylenol pulled their products off the shelf for precautionary measures and therefore created very positive perception in the eyes of the public. I do hope that Tylenol gets a handle on their quality control issues soon, as I can’t imagine their tens of millions of products recalled these past few years not coming with quite a price to the company.
Original story: http://news.consumerreports.org/safety/2011/03/tylenol-recall-musty-smelling-bottles-tba-chemical-contamination.html