Committee to investigate McNeil, FDA practices

WASHINGTON Drug Store News went to press. —The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last month opened an investigation into McNeil Consumer Healthcare around its latest recall of children’s cough-cold products and the closure of its Fort Washington, Pa., plant. A hearing was imminent at the time

In addition to researching the root cause behind three McNeil recalls in the past year—the most recent of which left more than 40 empty facings across children’s cold and allergy sets—the investigation is expected to scrutinize Food and Drug Administration oversight practices.

“We are deeply concerned about the recall of popular pediatric medications widely used by infants and children across the country,” stated Reps. Ed Towns, D-N.Y., and Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “When a recall of this nature occurs, it is our responsibility to bring attention to the issue as a public service, and to fulfill our oversight responsibility by asking tough questions about the conditions of the manufacturing plant and controls put in place by the drug company’s management, and about whether FDA’s inspection and recall procedures were sufficient.”

Sales of Children’s Tylenol alone represent some 6% of the dollar share in liquid cold and allergy remedies. Overall, sales of cold-and-cough liquid remedies totaled $616 million for the 52 weeks ended April 18 across food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group.

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