Johnson & Johnson Recalls Another Batch of Medication
Since early 2010, Johnson & Johnson has issued more than 50 product recalls. The company continued this trend recently when it recalled the drug Topamax.
Four consumers reported that their anti-seizure medication had an unusual moldy, musty smell. The smell was probably caused by TBA, a chemical that is used to treat wood. (The company uses wood pallets to store and ship medications.)
The smell is unlikely to cause health problems in consumers, although it has led to gastrointestinal problems in a few people. Even so, Johnson & Johnson recalled the contaminated Topamax in Texas and across the country. People who notice the odor in their pill bottles should return the medication to their pharmacist.
Johnson & Johnson's Quality-Control Problems
Consumers have seen numerous recalls issued by Johnson & Johnson in the past months and years. Various units of Johnson & Johnson have recalled insulin pump cartridges, two types of hip implants and children's Tylenol.
Federal regulators recently made an agreement with the company that the government would increase oversight of some of Johnson & Johnson's manufacturing plants. Regulators claim that some of the company's manufacturing processes did not follow federal law.
The new agreement would allow the Food and Drug Administration to demand that Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare division issue a recall when the FDA deems it appropriate. The company would face steep fines if it failed to do so.
Consumers of over-the-counter medications, prescription medicines and medical devices need to be vigilant when it comes to recalls. They should visit the FDA website and pay close attention to news about recalls.
While Johnson & Johnson's quality issue with Topamax does not appear to have been harmful to consumers' health, it is possible for medications that were improperly manufactured or stored can lead to health problems.
No matter which company manufactured a medical product, consumers should remain alert.