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J&J Delays Relaunch of Recalled Products

New Brunswick, N.J-based Johnson & Johnson on Jan. 25 postponed its plans to begin folding many of its recalled products, including several pediatric formulations, back onto retail shelves until later this fall, reports CNN.

However, when those products are ready to occupy the brand blocks McNeil has carved out for Tylenol and others, J&J will be placing a significant emphasis on reacquainting those products with quality in the consumer’s mind.

U.S. sales across J&J’s OTC pharmaceuticals and nutritionals dropped 52.8 percent over the fourth quarter. The McNeil recalls impacted fourth-quarter sales by approximately $300 million and total-year sales by approximately $900 million, the company reported.

Oregon files lawsuit against J&J

Johnson & Johnson’s troubles over a series of recalled over-the-counter medications continued this week with Oregon filing a lawsuit alleging that Johnson & Johnson and two of its subsidiaries—McNeil-PPC and McNeil Healthcare—exposed consumers to defective supplies of Motrin by delaying public disclosure of the problem for more than a year before finally conducting a public recall in 2010 reports OregonLive.com.

Instead of an immediate public recall, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries allegedly attempted to quietly remove Motrin containers from store shelves. The “phantom recall” failed to notify consumers who had already purchased the defective product and exposed additional consumers by delaying public disclosure for more than a year.

“Companies that break the rules and put consumers at risk will be held accountable,” said Oregon’s Attorney General John Kroger, in a press statement.

The lawsuit alleges multiple violations of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA). Among other things, the UTPA prohibits employing unconscionable tactics, making certain false or misleading representations, or failing to disclose certain information. Each violation of the UTPA carries a maximum penalty of $25,000.

Media sources reported that Johnson & Johnson would request a dismissal of the suit based on the company’s actions being consistent with applicable law.

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