The Johnson & Johnson Company has long staked its reputation on being a family company with shampoos and other product lines for kids and babies, one that theoretically would do the right thing should the moment ever arise to take a stand.
And while the McNeil Consumer Healthcare company is technically not the same as Johnson & Johnson, it is described as an important unit of the company.
So while most of the blame for a recent admission of guilt by McNeil falls on them, you can’t blame parents for losing a little trust in the parent company, can you?
That’s what many are wondering after court documents were revealed this past week showing that the McNeil company, of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, knowingly sold medicines for both children and infants that had no business being sold, to say the least, due to being contaminated with heavy metals.
Agreement Reached for $25 Million Payout
The company plead guilty to a federal criminal charge that it sold products containing metal particles, according to this article from Philadelphia’s CBS affiliate.
The metal particles were found in over-the-counter infant and children medications including Tylenol and Motrin. In order to resolve the case, the company has agreed to a $25 million payout.
According to the documents, metal particles including nickel, iron and chromium made their way into the medicines during the manufacturing process.
The company issued a recall in April 2010 but the prosecutors said that McNeil failed to take the proper steps needed to fix the problem initially.
The FDA said that there wasn’t much of a chance for serious medical problems but consumers were advised to stop using the medicine after the agency caught wind of the issue.
Benadryl products were also included and the process began after a foul-smelling odor was noticed (likely due to mold) in January 2010.
Johnson & Johnson has a net worth of 65 billion; the company was fined $2.2 billion in drug marketing fraud in 2013 however so this is not exactly new territory for them.