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Johnson & Johnson adds 2 more drugs to list of defective products

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed faulty hip and knee replacements and how Consumer Reports is calling for medical device warranties. One such company that could provide those warranties is Johnson & Johnson. But the pharmaceutical and medical giant hasn't exactly been at the top of its game lately.

In addition to a string of safety lapses, including defective hip replacements, Johnson & Johnson recently recalled two drugs -- one that was tainted with mold and one that was tainted with plastic particles.

The recalls came just a week within each other, signaling ongoing safety problems with Johnson & Johnson products. In particular, 200,000 bottles of Motrin for babies were called back because of poppy-seed-sized plastic in the product. The other drug, Risperdal Consta, is an antipsychotic medicine that tested positive for mold.

Both recalled products were made at least in part by third-party manufacturers, and the defective drugs represent another safety risk in a series of Johnson & Johnson hazards. Those problems led to recalls of defective hip replacements, contact lenses, Tylenol, birth-control pills and K-Y Jelly.

The company has also had to promise the Food and Drug Administration that three manufacturing facilities will be improved. One of those facilities was closed in 2010.

Commentators have suggested that with the recent recalls, Johnson & Johnson is simply being overly cautious after so much criticism for its past failures. The company claims the mold in the Risperdal Consta isn't likely to be harmful, and the Motrin for babies never made it all the way to market.

Still, sometimes product recalls are too late, and patients and consumers too often pay the physical price. People who have been injured by a defective drug should be aware of their recourse to the law.

Source: The New York Times, "New Recalls by Johnson & Johnson Raise Concerns About Quality Control Improvements," Katie Thomas, Sept. 12, 2013

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