HEALTH

J&J chairman addresses McNeil ‘phantom recall’ before House committee

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON McNeil products soon will repopulate shelves, Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Bill Weldon shared on Thursday during his testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

 

The hearing was held to discuss the recent spate of McNeil recalls of certain infants’ and children’s products. “I know that we let the public down. We did not maintain our high-quality standards, and as a result, children do not have access to our important medicines,” Weldon said, pledging personally to see to fixing the quality concerns at McNeil.

 

 

The recalls were a precautionary measure, Weldon added, initiated despite the low risk as evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration had the products not been recalled. “It is important for consumers to know that the April 2010 recall was not undertaken on the basis of reports of adverse medical events. We recalled these products because of Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to consumers and its belief that the serious manufacturing issues it uncovered needed to be addressed even though the health risks to consumers were remote.”

 

 

Nonetheless, retailers can expect new shipments of a McNeil liquid pediatric product to reach their warehouses beginning next week. Weldon noted that as many as 1 million bottles will be part of that first rollout, and an additional 3 million bottles should be distributed by the end of 2010.

 

Regarding what the House committee has termed the Motrin “phantom recall,” Weldon also acknowledged that the company made a mistake in not including the FDA in its decision to “retrieve” eight-caplet Motrin products from the marketplace that were distributed primarily through the convenience store channel. Those caplets were being bought back by a third party under direction of McNeil because they “were found not to dissolve as quickly as intended,” as opposed to any safety concerns.

 

In closing, committee chairman Ed Towns, D-N.Y., suggested that the committee’s investigation into the J&J recalls was not concluded. “The testimony [today], combined with the testimony at our first hearing, indicates some very serious problems — both with the way Johnson & Johnson viewed its responsibility to the public and with its day-to-day relationship with the FDA,” he said.

 

 

Regarding the Motrin “phantom recall,” Towns said, “the evidence indicates J&J did everything it could to avoid a formal recall. In short, J&J tried to pull a fast one on the American public. I think it is fair to say this is not the last word on this investigation.”

 

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Garden of Life introduces Vitamin Code Kids

BY Allison Cerra

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Garden of Life has developed a chewable whole food multivitamin for kids that provides them with essential nutrients and minerals.

Vitamin Code Kids are cherry-berry chewables that contain 22 organically grown fruits and veggies to provide immune support, digestive health, support for growing bones, mental and physical energy, and eye health, Garden of Life said.

"Unfortunately, most kids’ multivitamins fall short of the nutritional standards parents set for their children. However, with this whole food multivitamin, I feel that all of the nutritional bases for kids are covered," said Jordan Rubin, Garden of Life’s founder and CEO. "With Vitamin Code Kids, there’s a 100% whole food multivitamin that parents can offer their kids with confidence because it will nourish the body and deliver nutrients as nature intended."

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Drug Store News once again hosts annual Industry Issues Summit, Diabetes Roundtable

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Drug Store News is presenting in November in New York its 12th annual Industry Issues Summit and eighth annual Diabetes Roundtable — a must-attend event that attracts leading industry players and will feature a special celebrity speaker.

This year’s Industry Issues Summit will be held Nov. 30 at the New York Athletic Club, which is located just a stone’s throw away from Central Park. Over the years, the Industry Issues Summit has become a critical industry event, and this year’s gathering will prove to be especially important in light of healthcare reform, the economy and its impact on consumer shopping behavior, and retail pharmacies increasingly taking a proactive role on the frontlines of U.S. health care.

Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” will be the keynote speaker. Kudlow, who for many years served as chief economist for a number of Wall Street firms, will be presenting “Never Sell America Short: Free-Market Capitalism and the American Economy.” Kudlow is a nationally syndicated columnist and also hosts his own blog. He is a contributing editor of National Review magazine, as well as a columnist and economics editor for National Review Online. He is the author of “American Abundance: The New Economic and Moral Prosperity,” published by Forbes in January 1998. He also serves as CEO of Kudlow & Co., an economic research firm.

“This one-day event will provide unprecedented access to a multiple list of leading-edge retailers from many formats that will enable sponsors a unique opportunity to share in the dialogue about retailer-supplier best practices, alignment strategies and industry growth opportunities. Drug Store News is also pleased to make our Industry Issues Summit and Diabetes Roundtable an annual event that is held every year during ‘NACDS Week’ in New York City, which times nicely with several key committee meetings and highlights with the NACDS Foundation Dinner,” said Wayne Bennett, publisher of The Drug Store News Group.

Retail panelists for this year’s Issues Summit will include top executives from H-E-B, Costco, Max-Wellness, Rite Aid, Wegmans, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, Sam’s Club and Ace Hardware.

Retail panelists for the Diabetes Roundtable include top executives from McKesson’s Health Mart, Wegmans, H-E-B, Giant Eagle, AmerisourceBergen, Rite Aid, Kerr Drug and Cardinal Health.

Current sponsors include Pacific World, Takeda, Pharmavite, TABS, Catalina Marketing, Alberto Culver and Nipro Diagnostics.

To register, visit DSNIndustryIssues.com. For more information on sponsoring the Issues Summit and/or Diabetes Roundtable, contact Wayne Bennett at [email protected] or call (212) 756-5157.

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