J&J delays relaunch of recalled products

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday postponed its plans to begin folding many of its recalled products, including several pediatric formulations, back onto retail shelves until later this fall.

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.

“At the appropriate time, we will be investing in market support for our over-the-counter brands, such as Tylenol, Motrin and many others,” J&J chairman and CEO William Weldon told investors. “And we will be introducing product and packaging innovations for many products, especially for those for young children.”

U.S. sales across J&J’s OTC pharmaceuticals and nutritionals dropped 52.8% 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.

Production of J&J’s children’s liquid OTC brands and adult tablet brands manufactured at the Fort Washington, Pa., facility is not expected to resume historical levels until the latter half of 2011. “This is due to a decision to upgrade manufacturing and quality processes … as part of our comprehensive action plan,” Louise Mehrotra, VP investor relations at J&J, told analysts.

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