November 23, 2010 / 10:00 AM / 10 years ago

New J&J recalls hit Benadryl, Motrin, Rolaids

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson, which has been beset with recalls of Tylenol and other consumer products over the past year, has recalled almost 5 million additional packages of Benadryl, Motrin and Rolaids because of manufacturing “insufficiencies.”

J&J said the recalls, like many of the earlier ones, involved products made at its plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. The facility was closed earlier this year to fix quality-control lapses, including unsanitary conditions.

The latest actions involve 4 million packages of Children’s Benadryl Allergy Fastmelt Tablets in cherry and grape flavors. The allergy drug was distributed in the United States and other markets, a company spokeswoman said.

An estimated 800,000 bottles of Junior Strength Motrin Caplets, a painkiller, were recalled in the United States.

The Benadryl and Motrin recalls were initiated after a J&J review “revealed insufficiencies in the development of the manufacturing process,” J&J said.

The company spokeswoman declined to identify the specific manufacturing lapses. She said there was no indication that the products failed to meet quality standards.

In addition, about 71,000 packages of Rolaids antacid, in a cherry flavored extra-strength Softchews formulation, were recalled in the United States.

J&J said the Rolaids were made by a third party, and were recalled following consumer complaints about “an uncharacteristic consistency or texture, traced to crystallized sugar in the product.”

Unlike previous recalls, J&J did not issue press releases announcing the latest actions by its McNeil consumer healthcare division. It posted them on a company website.

“This is not a consumer-level recall; consumers do not have to take any action,” the spokeswoman said when asked why press releases were not issued.

She said all three new actions instead were “wholesale and retail level” recalls, which called instead on wholesalers and retail outlets to take action.

Reporting by Ransdell Pierson in New York and Thyagaraju Adinarayan and S. John Tilak in Bangalore. Editing by Jon Loades-Carter and Robert MacMillan

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